Missing Texas teen found driving in Nebraska with mother’s dead body in trunk

HUMBLE, Texas — A Houston-area teen who, along with his mother, had been reported missing on Oct. 13 was found driving in Nebraska with the body of a woman in the vehicle’s trunk, authorities said Friday.

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Tyler Roenz, 17, of Humble, Texas, was hospitalized in “serious condition” after the vehicle he was driving crashed in Aurora, Nebraska, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Update 10:52 p.m. EDT Oct. 15: The Nebraska State Patrol on Saturday night identified the dead woman found inside the trunk of a car driven by Tyler Roenz as his mother, Michelle Roenz, 49, of Humble, KOLN-TV and KHOU-TV reported.

According to officials, Tyler Roenz, 17, of Humble, who was apprehended Friday, was moved from St. Francis Hospital in Grand Island to an Omaha hospital for ongoing treatment of injuries suffered when he crashed his vehicle, KOLN reported.

Original report: According to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, the teen was reported missing on Thursday along with his mother, Michelle Roenz, 49, of Humble, according to the newspaper.

The woman’s body has yet to be identified.

Investigators said the teen and his mother, who is an animal rights advocate, were last seen at around 11:40 a.m. CDT near their home, KPRC-TV reported.

They were traveling in a black 2011 Mazda four-door sedan, the television station reported.

According to the Nebraska State Patrol, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office alerted them that a car connected to the teen and his mother was believed to be tied to a homicide and was seen in Nebraska, KHOU-TV reported.

Nebraska troopers located the vehicle 15 minutes later, at about 3 p.m. CDT, traveling westbound on Interstate 80 near Grand Island, approximately three hours west of Omaha, KTRK-TV reported.

A trooper attempted to pull the vehicle over but it sped away, according to KLKN-TV. Troopers said a chase ensued for about nine miles at speeds exceeding 110 mph, the television station reported. The Mazda hit the back of a tractor-trailer and went off the road before hitting a tree, KHOU reported.

Gonzalez said the pair’s disappearance was “under suspicious circumstances or came up missing under suspicious circumstances,” KTRK reported. He did not elaborate.

Tyler Roenz remained hospitalized and under arrest Friday night in Nebraska, according to the television station.

An investigation is ongoing.

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