Carina Rodriguez had recently moved from Texas to Indiana to begin a new life with her young son and to get a college degree in the medical field. But she never got the chance.
On Friday, according to Indianapolis police, the 23-year-old was stabbed to death in the gym of her luxury apartment complex, allegedly by a homeless man whom she had let into the locked facility.
Investigators don’t believe Rodriguez previously knew her assailant.
Cody Weir, a 25-year-old drifter later found in a parking lot, was arrested Friday night in connection with Rodriguez’s death. Police say surveillance video shows him entering her apartment complex before she was killed.
At a news conference, Indianapolis Metro Police Department Chief Bryan Roach said authorities believe they found the right man — and, as proof, he pointed to the suspect’s demeanor during his arrest.
“You could tell he knew why we were there,” Roach told reporters, according to local TV station WXIN. “[He was] tearful at one point, knew it was happening, knew it was coming, I think.”
Weir is being held without bond and has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.
In court on Tuesday, he told the judge that he does not have an attorney. If his family does not hire one for him, he will be assigned a public defender.
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According to police documents, Rodriguez was working out in the gym at 2:44 a.m. on Friday. Surveillance video allegedly shows Weir approaching the locked gym door. Rodriguez let him in to get a drink from the water fountain.
Weir’s arrest report states that he allegedly told authorities he was angry and was trying to calm himself down by drinking water. It’s unclear what happened next at the gym, but the arrest report alleges that Weir stabbed Rodriguez with a knife a minute later, at 2:45 a.m.
After he left the gym, the surveillance video shows Rodriguez staggering toward her gym bag and pulling out an iPad.
She unsuccessfully attempted to use it before collapsing at 2:49 a.m.
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Police released parts of the video on Friday and, according to Chief Roach, several people called in to report Weir as a possible suspect.
The arrest report states that Weir allegedly told police he didn’t remember anything. But he said that he used a knife for work and recalled the victim letting him into the gym, the report claims.
“I think I knocked on [the door], and she let me in, and I told her ‘thank you,’ ” he allegedly told investigators, the police documents show. “I had a knife in my hand. I remember hitting her and then I ran.”
A search of Weir’s vehicle uncovered a knife with “possible blood on the handle and blade,” according to court documents. Police also found a hooded jacket, work boots and jeans that had “possible blood” on them.
The items have been sent to a lab for testing.