Police: Man drove his truck away after running over, killing wife in southeast Austin


Ricardo Vasquez-Lopez (Picture: Austin Police Department)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man has been arrested on suspicion of killing his wife in an alleged hit and run in southeast Austin.

Officers with the Austin Police Department were called to reports of a person lying in the road in Ainez Drive at about 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

When they arrived at the scene, officers located 33-year-old Eliana Martinez with critical injuries. They attempted life-saving measures, but Martinez was pronounced dead shortly after.

Her husband Ricardo Vasquez-Lopez, 34, has been charged with failure to stop and render aid. He was booked into the Travis County Jail on Thursday, where he remains on a $100,000 bond.

Witnesses at the scene told homicide investigators that the victim had been in an altercation with a suspect driving a black Dodge Ram truck. The victim was seen being hit by the truck and the driver left the scene, APD said.

According to an arrest affidavit, Martinez was arrested for assaulting her husband in Buda in May. An emergency protective order in Hays County lists Vasquez-Lopez as the protected party and Martinez as the respondent.

In an interview with police after Martinez’s death, Vasquez-Lopez said they had been living separately as they were not supposed to be in contact with each other. He claimed to have last seen her two weeks ago, according to the affidavit.

However, when investigators talked to the victim’s brother, he said that Vasquez-Lopez told him he met Martinez at a park near Mendez Middle School on Tuesday, and might have hit her with his truck.

The affidavit states that he told Martinez’s brother that he “floored it” when she tried to get into the vehicle. He then started crying and said “I’m sorry”, the affidavit states.

Officers searched a vehicle found at the scene registered to the victim. Inside, they found an iPhone showing multiple text messages between Martinez and Vasquez-Lopez in the hour before the incident.

An autopsy conducted by the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy, ruling that the cause of death was blunt force trauma.

Anyone with information or video of this incident should call APD Homicide at (512) 974-TIPS, email homicide.apd@austintexas.gov, or call the Crime Stoppers tip line at (512) 472-8477 (TIPS). APD says you can leave a tip anonymously.

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