A woman was arrested early Friday in connection with the beating and suffocation of a woman whose body was found burning in an secluded area near Lake Arlington.
Alexandria Flores, 22, was arrested without incident at the Magnuson Hotel in the 6700 block of Fossil Bluff Drive, police said. Police had received a call that Flores was at the north Fort Worth hotel.
Flores is the fourth person arrested in the death of Brittany “Pearl” Chappell, 30, a mother of two who was reported missing to Bedford police on Oct. 9.
Albert Martinez Jr., 29, Jeremy Myers 23, and Flores are accused of capital murder in Chappell’s death. The fourth suspect, Brian Kendrick Thompson, is accused of tampering with physical evidence by helping to dump and burn Chappell’s body after her death.
Martinez, Myers and Flores are accused of holding Chappell against her will and beating and suffocating her with a bag, then a shower curtain.
Chappell’s body, burned beyond recognition, was discovered late Sept. 28 after a patrol officer spotted a grass fire in a wooded, secluded area in the 3500 block of South Cravens Road, on the far western edge of Lake Arlington.
Evidence indicated that an accelerant had been used to start the fire.
After the body was discovered, homicide Detective M. Green went to a nearby Shell gas station at 5800 E. Berry Street to ask the on-duty clerk whether anyone suspicious had bought gas there, according to Martinez Jr.’s arrest warrant affidavit, written by homicide detective Kyle Sullivan.
The clerk told Green that three people — two men and a woman driving a possibly tan-colored SUV — appeared nervous as they paid for $10 in gas, bought two drinks and then paid for an additional $2 in gas.
Surveillance video from the store showed a woman and two men inside the store about 30 minutes before the officer found the burning body, the affidavit states.
In early October, police received tips that Flores and her boyfriend, Martinez, might be behind the death. Police obtained photographs of the couple, which appeared to match two of the people seen on the surveillance video, the affidavit states.
On Oct. 8, Sullivan and Green interviewed Flores’ mother, who told of her daughter’s involvement in the case, saying that Martinez had forced her daughter to put a bag over the woman’s head.
Police obtained a search warrant for Flores’ apartment in the 1500 block of Etta Street. Inside, they found several areas with apparent blood and packed boxes, as if the tenant were moving.
On Oct. 10 detectives interviewed Flores in the first of two interviews.
During the interview, Flores said that Martinez had met a woman at a game room in east Fort Worth and brought her to the apartment that Flores and Martinez share.
She said the three smoked methamphetamine together and that she later found her boyfriend yelling at the woman with a pistol in his hand.
Homicide Sgt. Joe Loughman said statements given by Flores “seem to be self-serving.”
Flores said Martinez struck her in the head with the gun, causing her to lose consciousness, and that she later went upstairs to find the woman dead and lying naked on the floor.
She said Martinez and a neighbor, later identified as Myers, wrapped the woman’s body in carpet and that the men, accompanied by another man with a tan SUV, took the body to a remote area and burned it.
Asked the woman’s name, Flores told detectives that the woman went by Pearl Chappell on Facebook.
The victim was identified as Chappell, a woman reported missing to Bedford police Oct. 9.
On Oct. 14, Flores talked with homicide investigators again, telling them she had not been fully truthful in her earlier interview.
This time, she added that her boyfriend’s father had also been present at the apartment when Chappell arrived at the apartment with Martinez.
Flores said at one point, her boyfriend became angry with Chappell and began hitting and slapping her. She said he then made her hit Chappell with a belt three times.
Flores told detectives Martinez then put Chappell in a closet and told her to shut up. When Myers came by the apartment, she said Martinez showed him Chappell in the closet “like he was proud.”
Flores said her boyfriend remarked that he had to kill Chappell after the crying woman said, “If you let me go, I’m going to tell.”
Flores said Chappell begged for her life, looking Flores in the eyes and pleading, “I just want to see my kids.”
She said Martinez told her to put a trash bag over Chappell’s head or she could end up like the victim, the affidavit states. She said after the victim managed to rip a hole in the bag, Myers got a shower curtain from the bathroom. Flores said she then wrapped it around Chappell’s head until the woman died.
She said the body was put back in the closet until the next day, when it was loaded into the SUV.
Martinez has been jailed since Sept. 29 — the day after Chappell’s body was found — on unrelated charges of possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), evading arrest and failure to identify.
He was being held in the Tarrant County Jail with bail set in the capital murder case at $500,000.
He has refused to talk to investigators, the affidavit states.
Myers and Thompson, who were both arrested early Tuesday, have denied involvement in the slaying, the affidavit states.