Family members say missing mother later found dead never reported domestic violence problems

Enrique Perez arrested in connection with Mary Lou Rodriguez's death

By Patty Santos - Reporter, Lee Carpio - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - Family members are mourning their loved one after the body of a West Side mother, who was reported missing to San Antonio police Saturday, was discovered in Lampasas County.

Police arrested Enrique Perez in the death of his common-law wife Mary Lou Rodriguez.

The police report said Rodriguez's sister reported her missing after suspecting something was wrong; she said Perez had told her that her sister called to say she was running away with another man to Austin.

The victim's sister told police she thought it was odd because she had never run away before, even after being allegedly assaulted by Perez in the past. 

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said there were never any reports of domestic violence at the home.

"Typically, after they have an argument, Mary Lou would call her sister to tell her everything was OK and let her know what happened," McManus said. "Well, she didn't call this time."

When the responding officer spoke with Perez, he told them he and Rodriguez had an argument after he found her texting and cheating on him. He said they had a fight and she ran away without shoes or her phone. He also told police he drove to Austin to search for her.

A search of the house led investigators to discover broken fingernails and a scent of cleaning products.

"He eventually told us that he had killed her, and he took us to the body up in Lampasas County," McManus said.

Yvone Gamez, Rodriguez's sister-in-law, said the family is trying to stay strong for the couple's three young children.

"She was sweet and funny. That's the memories I have in my head," Gamez said.

The family said Rodriguez never reported her alleged assaults because she was scared for her life. 

If you or someone you know needs help getting out of a violent relationship, call the Family Violence Prevention Services Crisis Hotline at 210-733-8810.

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