CARROLLTON, Texas – A 19-year-old man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of tampering with evidence, as authorities continued their manhunt for a suspect in the death and subsequent burning of a University of North Texas sophomore.
Donovan R. Young was arrested Thursday night, according to Carrollton, Tex, police Sgt. John Singleton. "They do not believe that he was involved in the murder at this time," Singleton said.
Police have issued a murder warrant for the arrest of Ernesto Pina Reyes, a 20-year-old resident alien living in Denton, Texas, in connection with the death of Melanie Goodwin. Reyes remains at large.
Surveillance video from a business near where the charred remains of Goodwin, 19, were found this week shows a man dragging a body from a car and igniting a fire, according to an affidavit released Thursday by Carrollton police. Investigators believe the man in the video is Reyes.
Police were not releasing the video. Singleton, a police spokesman, said they considered it important evidence in Goodwin's death.
In the video, a car matching Goodwin's pulls into the parking lot of electronic payment business TransTech Merchant Group around 4 a.m. Tuesday. A stocky man parks the vehicle and pulls a body from it to the spot where Goodwin's remains were found later in the day. The man then lights a fire, according to the affidavit.
Goodwin's burnt body was found Tuesday and an autopsy revealed she died of blunt force trauma.
She was last seen at a Denton convenience store near UNT around 1:45 a.m. Tuesday. Another surveillance video showed her talking to a man with stocky build, wearing similar clothes as the man later seen in the Carrollton video.
A salesclerk remembers the man asked a woman matching Goodwin's description for a ride. Investigators say the clerk remembers the two left the store together, the affidavit said.
Before leaving, the man made and received phone calls from the convenience store's phone. Those were traced to a woman who identified the man as Reyes, her boyfriend. The woman said she saw Reyes Tuesday evening and noticed burns on his forearms and singed hair, authorities said.
Authorities don't believe Goodwin and Reyes knew each other. They haven't ruled out an abduction in her case, since it's unclear what happened in the parking lot of the convenience store, Singleton said.
Goodwin was a 2006 graduate of Bowie High School in Arlington and had appeared in school and community theatrical productions. She was majoring in radio-television-film at North Texas.
Police said anyone with information on the whereabouts of Reyes should call 972-466-4775.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.