Crime

Man with missing woman made ‘false statements,’ Plano investigator says

An Allen man made “numerous false statements” about the time he spent with a Fort Worth woman who has been missing for more than two months, according to a search warrant affidavit released Tuesday.

Christina Morris, 23, can be seen on a security video walking with Enrique Gutierrez Arochi, 24, early Aug. 30 in a Plano parking garage.

Arochi also omitted information, hindering Plano detectives’ search for Morris, the affidavit says.

Hours after the security video was recorded, Arochi reported to work in Wylie, walking with a limp and telling another employee that his ribs hurt.

The employee noticed that Arochi had a bite mark on his arm, and Arochi explained that he had been bitten during a fight the previous night, according to the affidavit.

Plano police officer David Tilley, a department spokesman, said he wanted to stress that Arochi has not been charged with anything and that the matter is still being investigated as a missing-persons case.

“I know a lot of people are frustrated,” Tilley said. “But this is not at all an easy case to investigate. Because No. 1, it’s not like we have a body, and 2 it’s not like we have a known crime that took place. Ariel Castro, Amanda Berry, Elizabeth Smart — everyone wrote them off for dead and they were not.”

Tilley said Tuesday that he was aware of the bite mark on Arochi’s arm but that he could not discuss whether the mark left an imprint that police could use to match with Morris’ dental records.

Tilley said that Arochi’s vehicle was seized and searched Sept. 26 but that Arochi is not a suspect in her disappearance. Arochi has, however, interfered with the investigation by misinforming police, Tilley said.

The warrant identifies Arochi as a former classmate of Morris’ at Allen High School.

“Arochi has made numerous false statements and omitted pertinent information to Affiant [the investigator] during the course of the investigation into Morris’ disappearance. Affiant believes Arochi has intentionally made false statements which have hindered detectives in locating Morris,” the affidavit says.

Arochi told Star-Telegram media partner WFAA that Morris was never in his car.

“I feel like they’re wasting their time on me when they could be looking at someone else that’s actually the suspect or the person who actually did it,” he said.

Armed with a search warrant, police seized Arochi’s 2001 Chevrolet Camaro on Sept. 26. According to the affidavit, detectives believe that the most likely way Morris left the garage undetected was in Arochi’s vehicle.

Tilley said he could not say whether Morris’ DNA was found in the car.

Witnesses have said Morris went out with friends the night of Aug. 29 at the Shops at Legacy in Plano. The group went to an apartment there, and witnesses said Morris left with Arochi between 3:30 and 3:45 a.m. Aug. 30. The camera shows her entering a parking garage with Arochi at 3:55 a.m.

The affidavit gives this account:

When questioned by Plano police shortly after Morris’ disappearance, Arochi insisted he did not enter the garage with her and hadn’t parked near her vehicle. But detectives showed Arochi a photograph, retrieved from a surveillance camera, of him and Morris entering the garage. Witnesses also told detectives that Arochi had parked close to Morris.

He did not give detectives an answer as to why he lied, according to the warrant.

Arochi said he didn’t talk to Morris as they entered the garage because she was on the phone talking loudly and sounding upset. But his cellphone records show text messages and a phone call to Hunter Foster, Morris’ boyfriend, at 3:50 a.m., 3:53 a.m. and 3:55 a.m. Aug. 30.

Arochi denied contacting Foster and said he must have let Morris use his phone. He previously had denied talking to Morris as they entered the garage. Morris’ 2001 Toyota Celica was found in the garage after she went missing.

According to the affidavit, Arochi told detectives that he started out the evening by taking Adderall, then drank 10 shots of Captain Morgan Rum and three to five beers at two bars.

Arochi told a Plano detective that he left the Shops at Legacy headed east on Legacy Drive to Central Expressway and exited at Bethany Road to his Allen home. But his TollTag records showed that he used Sam Rayburn Tollway past Custer Road and then to his home.

During a Sept. 4 interview with a Plano detective, Arochi said Morris had never been in his Camaro. When authorities inspected his car, they noticed that the interior was extremely clean and had recently been vacuumed. The front fender was damaged.

Arochi had bruises on his right forearm and abrasions on his right hand. He told a detective that he was “turning” his tires and that the wheel fell on his hand. He became angry and punched his right front fender with his right fist and struck it with his right forearm, according to the warrant.

An employee at Huffines Collision Center in Plano viewed photos of the damage and said it was inconsistent with Arochi’s explanation.

An employee at a Wylie Sprint store told a Plano detective Sept. 10 that when Arochi walked into the Sprint Wireless Store in Wylie the morning of Aug. 30, he appeared injured and had a bite mark. Arochi told his co-worker that he was bitten during a fight the previous night at the Shops at Legacy in Plano.

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