BETHANY — Police have made an arrest in the case of Carina Saunders, the 19-year-old Mustang woman whose dismembered body was found in a duffle bag in Bethany in late 2011.
Bethany police arrested Luis E. Ruiz, 37, on a murder complaint at 1 p.m. Thursday, according to a news release issued by the department. Police declined to comment further on the case Thursday.
Court records show Ruiz lived in southwest Oklahoma City.
Ruiz's younger brother, Jorge Ruiz, said his brother has been in and out of jail for the past six years on drug and vandalism charges.
“When he first started selling drugs he was broke,” Jorge Ruiz said. “But this past year I've seen him with new trucks. That's when he started getting more and more money so I guess he was in a drug ring.”
Jorge Ruiz said Luis Ruiz has been on drugs of all kinds since he was 16 or 17. The younger brother said he believes his older brother probably deals heroin.
“Since he moved out here from Texas, he's just been a wreck,” Jorge Ruiz said. He moved to Oklahoma about six years ago, the brother said.
Jorge Ruiz said he also believes his brother was involved with prostitutes.
Jorge Ruiz said his brother has three daughters with one woman, a son with another and possibly another child with a third woman. The older brother was a loner and usually kept his business to himself, Jorge Ruiz said.
Jorge Ruiz said he may have seen Luis Ruiz with Saunders. He said the photos of her looked similar to a white woman Luis used to hang out with, but he couldn't be sure it was her.
“We knew he was doing bad, but we didn't think it would get this far,” Jorge Ruiz said of Thursday's arrest.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed in August 2010, Luis Ruiz was accused of taking a pickup for sale on a test drive and not returning it. He was arrested a week later when the pickup owner's father spotted the vehicle and called police. Luis Ruiz fled on foot and was arrested with a woman in the 2700 block of SW 31. The woman with Luis Ruiz was carrying a sack containing 12 small baggies that tested positive for cocaine in a field test, according to the affidavit.
Luis Ruiz was not charged in connection with the incident.
Texas court records show that Luis Ruiz was also charged in 2008 with unauthorized use of a vehicle in Brazos County.
Police have previously said they were considering several suspects who had been jailed on charges of drug and human trafficking.
A confidential witness told police she was kidnapped and forced to watch as members of a human trafficking ring tortured and murdered Saunders to send a message to others to cooperate with their illegal activities.
In December 2011, Francisco Gomez, 32, and Jimmy Lee Massey, 33, were named as persons of interest in connection with Saunders' death. Both men remain in the Oklahoma County jail, but neither has been charged with murder.
According to court records, Massey admitted to kidnapping a woman and making her watch as Saunders was tortured and killed Oct. 9. Massey also described how Saunders' body was dismembered and left in a field behind the Homeland grocery store at NW 23 and Rockwell Avenue.
Staff Writer Juliana Keeping