A devoted Texas mother of 2 was killed by her ex-partner in murder-suicide with kids at home


A pair of young children in Texas will now live the rest of their lives without their mother — along with the added trauma of witnessing her violent death in a tragic murder-suicide earlier this week.

Arazeli Ruiz, 24, a devoted and beloved mother of two, was shot and killed by Fernando Fernandez, 31, on Monday morning near Conroe, a major city in Montgomery County, roughly 40 miles north of Houston and part of the broader metropolitan area, authorities say.

After the victim was dead, Fernandez then turned the gun on himself, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

The original call came in during the early morning hours on Dec. 11, when a welfare check was requested, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. Right around 8 a.m. that day, deputies arrived at the house on Omeara Road. Inside, the responding officers found a woman and a man dead from apparent gunshot wounds.

That welfare call was made by a family friend who arrived at Ruiz’s house earlier the same morning in order to pick Fernandez up for work, investigators determined. Instead, the friend noticed “the front door of the house was open,” the sheriff’s office said in the news release. So he went to a nearby neighbor’s house and called 911.

Both of the children were found safe and unharmed.

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At first, law enforcement declined to release the names of the victim and her killer, citing the need to notify next of kin. In an update late Monday, the sheriff’s office identified both of the deceased.

“The children involved in this horrible incident are safe and currently with family members,” sheriff’s office Specialist Travis Wood said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims and their families as they grieve and continue to work with our Victims Services division.”

Law enforcement have declined to suggest a motive in the slaying.

Arazeli Ruiz appears in two selfies

Arazeli Ruiz appears in two selfies; her two children, faces blurred, appear in the image on the left. (Arazeli Ruiz)

In comments to Univision, Arazeli Ruiz’s sister, Elizabeth Ruiz, described Fernandez as her sister’s ex.

“He was her ex-partner in an extremely toxic relationship, marked by bipolarity and numerous mental issues,” the victim’s sister told the Spanish-language outlet. “We must reach out to those who suffer from these diseases to prevent further tragedies and raise awareness in the community about these challenges.”

In comments to Houston-based Fox affiliate KRIV, the deceased woman’s sister said the children are ages 2 and 5.

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At the time of the violence, all four lived in the same house.

“We don’t know their exact relationship,” Wood told KRIV. “However, they were living together, the male, female, and the two kids.”

The circumstances of the shooting are said to still be under investigation, according to the sheriff’s office.

Elizabeth Ruiz remembered her sister fondly.

“She was a cheerful young woman who worshipped her two children, strong, happy and with a lot of life ahead of her,” she told Univision.

Law&Crime reached out to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for additional details about this story but no response was immediately forthcoming as of the time of publication.

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