November 4 2014
– Plano police obtained a search warrant in late September for the car owned by the man last seen with Christina Marie Morris, 23, of Fort worth, who disappeared from a parking garage at The Shops at Legacy on Aug. 30.
She hasn’t been seen since.
The affidavit for the search warrant notes that the man, Enrique Gutierrez Arochi of Allen — a high school friend of the missing woman — made false statements about where he parked his car in the garage, and about details of the last time he was with Morris.
During his interview with police, Arochi said he had parked in a lot near the Blue Martini, and insisted he wasn’t with Morris when she entered the lot where her car had been parked, by Henry’s Tavern. After being shown a photo of a man and a woman entering the lot, he admitted he had been with her. But he maintained that he left her in the lot to go to his car.
When detectives showed Arochi a photo of his Camaro leaving the parking lot near Henry’s, he acknowledged the car was his. “I must have parked there,” he said.
During that same interview, Arochi told detectives he had taken an Adderall — a psychostimulant used to treat ADHD — at about noon, and consumed 10 shots of Captain Morgan Rum at an apartment party with high school friends at about 10:30 p.m. He also drank three to five beers at two bars the friends visited.
He also told police that Morris had never been in his 2010 Chevrolet Camaro.
On Sept. 4, two days after Morris was reported missing, Arochi agreed to allow police to search his car. During the search, police noticed that Arochi had bruises on his right forearm and abrasions on his right hand. A co-worker later told detectives that he saw the same wounds when Arochi came to work at a Sprint store in Wylie on Aug. 30. Arochi walked with a limp and said his back hurt, Juan Ponce told detectives.
Arochi told Ponce he’d been in a fight the night before at The Shops at Legacy, the affidavit states.
Surveillance video from a Kroger in Allen showed Arochi driving up to a gas pump shortly after 10 a.m. on Aug. 30, then walking to the back of his 2010 Chevrolet Camaro to inspect the rear trunk area. After filling the car with gas, Arochi took a squeegee to scrub the back of the Camaro. He also appeared to wipe something from the passenger door.
“Arochi has made numerous false statements and omitted pertinent information to Affiant during the course of the investigation into Morris’ disappearance,” Plano Detective Cathy Stamm wrote in the affidavit for the search warrant. “Affiant believes Arochi has intentionally made false statements which have hindered detectives in locating Morris. …
“Affiant believes that the most likely way Morris could have left the parking garage undetected was in Arochi’s vehicle,” Stamm wrote. ” … Affiant knows and understands that a person, even through casual contact, may leave trace evidence in or on a vehicle which may include bodily fluids, hair, or DNA.”
During the first inspection of the car on Sept. 4, Stamm “noticed the vehicle’s interior appeared to be extremely clean and to have been recently vacuumed.
“Additionally, Affiant noticed what appeared to be fresh damage to the front right fender of his Camaro,” she wrote.
When detectives asked about the bruising on his right arm and abrasions on his right hand, Arochi told them he sustained the injuries on Aug. 29, before going to The Shops at Legacy. He hurt himself while working on the tires of his car when a wheel fell on his hand, he said, according to the affidavit.
“He became angry and damaged his front right fender by punching it with his right fist and striking it with his right forearm,” the affidavit states.
When a detective showed photos of the damage to a collision specialist, he was told the damage was inconsistent with Arochi’s explanation. But police said many vehicles have sensors that record data in an event that might cause damage.
Morris disappeared shortly after the surveillance photo was taken in the parking garage. Extensive searches and a $25,000 reward for information on her disappearance have turned up little.
The affidavit for the search warrant was submitted to the 380th District Court in Collin County on Sept. 26. The warrant was issued by Magistrate Benjamin N. Smith at 6:08 p.m. and was executed by Plano Police that night, when they seized Arochi’s Camaro.
Plano police have said little about the on-going investigation.
When asked what investigators found from their detailed search of Arochi’s car, public information officer David Tilley replied, “I don’t know.”
“Quite honestly, as far as the affidavit is concerned, it’s clearly a statement from our detectives working the case,” Tilley said.
“But since this is an open investigation, we’re not discussing anything related to this case.”
Police haven’t named Arochi or anyone as a suspect in what they call a missing person case.
– Michael E. Young