Who is Chukwuebuka Nwobodo? Felicia Johnson's murder suspect was arrested month after killing but was let go
HOUSTON, TEXAS: A fugitive Texas man has been charged with the murder of 24-year-old Felicia Johnson who disappeared in April. Authorities are now looking for 28-year-old Chukwuebuka Nwobodo, who was charged last week with murder and tampering with evidence in connection with Johnson's disappearance.
Investigators believe the Johnson was murdered and dismembered inside the suspect’s apartment on April 16. Detectives determined that Nwobodo picked up Johnson from an apartment complex at 3233 Windchase Boulevard and took her to his apartment at 14935 South Richmond Avenue — her last known location. He then possibly disposed of her body. Nwobodo became a suspect after authorities determined he had requested an Uber ride for Johnson from a hotel to his apartment on the night she disappeared.
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The disappearance of Felicia Johnson
MEAWW reported on Johnson's disappearance in Houston in April. After she vanished, her family issued a public plea for information. She was last seen on April 15 when she stopped at the Cover Girls Night Club to look for work. Community activist Quanell X has claimed that Johnson was offered a ride by an unidentified customer after her Uber was late. No one has since heard from Johnson.
“Uber was taking too long to really get here, so a gentleman here at the club offered to give her a ride to where she needed to go,” Quanell X reportedly said. “Felicia has not been seen since. No cell phone activity. No credit card activity. No social media activity. She has absolutely just vanished off the face of the earth.”
Police have suggested that Johnson originally encountered Nwobodo for the purposes of prostitution, and that Nwobodo withdrew a total $500 for the April 16 encounter
Meanwhile, Kevin, Johnson's father, flew from California to Houston to appear with X. A private investigator the family hired has reportedly found her blood-covered phone. While Houston police said they are actively investigating the case, nonprofit search-and-rescue group Texas EquuSearch has also joined in to search for Johnson.
X demanded that the Houston police department put enough resources into finding Johnson, who is Black. “HPD is finally taking the case serious now,” X told The Daily Beast. “Texas EquuSearch is on the ground also trying to follow every lead, trying to find a body or something that belongs to her. And the FBI has gotten involved as of today. So things are happening.”
Talking about Johnson's disappearance, X said that it is part of “an epidemic in Houston, with Black girls going missing and coming up murdered.” “This is the fifth Black girl to come up missing, quote-unquote, ‘involved in the sex industry,’” he said. “The previous four were all found murdered—and this is all in the past five months.” At a presser on April 20, X said he wanted Johnson to “know the community is looking for you,” and that he and the others are “turning over every stone. We’ll leave no door unlocked or unopened until we find where you are.” Kevin also directly spoke to his daughter, saying, "It’s a tragedy that you have been caught up in this net of whatever they got going on out here, but we’re working very, very hard to get you back and I love you. Everybody in the family loves you and I just want you to know, stay strong and we’re coming for you.”
Who is Chukwuebuka Nwobodo?
Court documents obtained by KHOU show that on April 16 and 17, Nwobodo,28, was captured on surveillance video buying trash bags, gloves, a mechanical saw, shovel and flashlight at a Walmart and Home Depot. His online searches over the next three weeks revealed that he looked for ways to destroy evidence.
His Google searches included "how to kill without getting caught”, "how to be a serial killer”, “what does bleach do to blood” and “most forested part of Houston”. A picture of a dismembered body was also found on his phone, according to investigators. There was an April 30 search for escorts in Houston, officers said. Nwobodo allegedly agreed to pay Johnson $500 to meet up with her over Snapchat. Nwobodo also allegedly searched on May 3 whether police can check phone records of a missing person, or their text messages.
Law and Crime report that officers said in a charging document they previously arrested Nwobodo on May 13 and he had pictures of dead people on his phone, but their recent press release claims the man is missing. A spokesperson with the Houston Police Department claimed that officers did not yet have the evidence on May 13 for charges. He was detained, questioned, and released at the time, the spokesperson said. It was a violent scene at his Richmond Avenue apartment, as police found apparent blood stains throughout the residence when executing a search warrant on May 13. This included the hallway floor just outside the bathroom, and throughout the bedroom. Testing showed a match to Johnson’s DNA profile, authorities said.
Nwobodo was previously accused of sexual assault in November 2020, police said. A woman claimed he tried to rape her in his vehicle. She got out and broke free after he chased her down and grabbed her wrist, the woman said in the probable cause affidavit. Police said she later denied there was any violence or sexual assault. She said she did not want to press charges, and she just wanted to go home.
The Houston PD is asking anyone with information about the incident to contact the Department's Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.