Texas Hunt for Man Seen With Student Before Her Burning Death
DENTON, Texas – Police have issued an arrest warrant for a Denton man who was seen with a University of North Texas student hours before her burned body was found in Carrollton.
The body of 19-year-old sophomore Melanie Goodwin was found Tuesday about 20 miles from a Denton convenience store where she was last seen with Ernesto Reyes earlier that morning.
Police issued an arrest warrant for Reyes, 20, on Wednesday night. He is wanted on suspicion of murder, according to a police news release.
"Based on our timeline, that's the last documented person to see her," Carrollton police Sgt. John Singleton said.
Reyes was photographed by security cameras at the convenience store near UNT early Tuesday morning. Police said he was last seen leaving the store with Goodwin in her car. Denton police said it appeared that Goodwin left willingly with Reyes. Their relationship remained unknown.
Goodwin's burned body was found nine hours later near a Carrollton office complex. The Dallas County medical examiner's office was still investigating the cause of death.
Police found her abandoned car Wednesday afternoon behind a commercial building in Denton, about three miles from the convenience store.
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.
Matthew Bobo, a spokesman for the Goodwin family, said everything seemed well with Goodwin when her parents last spoke to her on Monday afternoon. The family believes Goodwin was abducted by a stranger, Bobo said.
"She was one of those people who never met a stranger," Bobo said. "Being nice to people can be a bad thing."
Goodwin was the second UNT student to be slain this month.
Two weeks ago, 21-year-old Lorena Sandoval, a senior, was found strangled in her Denton apartment. Police have charged her ex-boyfriend, Sean Kresse, 24, with murder in the case.