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Texas mom found dead in son’s trunk had been strangled, beaten: cops

A woman’s body that was found in the trunk of a car that crashed in Nebraska during a high-speed police chase over the weekend has been identified as the teen driver’s missing mom, police said.

Michelle Roenz, 49, had been strangled and beaten to death when she was discovered following the chase involving her son, Tyler Roenz, 17, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

The chase began Friday along Interstate 80 near Grand Island, shortly after Nebraska authorities were alerted to be on the lookout for a vehicle out of Texas believed to be involved in a possible homicide there, the Nebraska State Patrol said.

A trooper spotted the 2011 Mazda 3 minutes later and tried to pull it over, but the driver, later identified as Tyler Roenz, refused to stop and a chase ensued reaching speeds of more than 110 mph, the patrol said.

The car soon crashed and landed in a ditch, and Roenz was hospitalized with serious but non-lethal injuries. When police opened the trunk of teen’s wrecked car, they found the body of a woman.

Tyler Roenz, 17, is pictured with mom Michelle, right, whose body was discovered in the trunk of the family car a day after the pair had been reported missing.
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Michelle Roenz's body was discovered after Tyler crashed the 2011 Mazda 3 west of Omaha, Nebraska, during a high-speed police chase.
Michelle Roenz’s body was discovered after Tyler crashed the 2011 Mazda 3 west of Omaha, Nebraska, during a high-speed police chase.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office

Preliminary reports show Michelle Roenz died from strangulation and blunt force trauma, Harris County Deputy Thomas Gilliland.

Both mother and son had been reported missing from their Texas home last Thursday by the teen’s father, who contacted the authorities after discovering a gruesome scene inside the house, according to court documents cited by ABC13.

The mother and son were reported missing after Michelle's husband entered their Humble, Texas, home, pictured, and found blood and human teeth inside.
The mother and son were reported missing after Michelle’s husband entered their Humble, Texas, home, pictured, and found blood and human teeth inside.
KTRK-TV

The dad told the police that he found blood and what appeared to be a human tooth inside the garage, then observed a trail of blood leading to the master bedroom, where he came upon at least four more human tooth on a blood-soaked carpet, court papers stated.

The father also reported the family Mazda missing. He tried to track his son’s phone using an app but discovered that Tyler had deleted the app and turned off his phone.

Homicide investigators in Texas responded to the scene in Humble and, based on evidence, issued a rescue alert for both Michelle Roenz and her son.

The 49-year-old woman died of strangulation and blunt force trauma, according to preliminary reports.
The 49-year-old woman died of strangulation and blunt force trauma, according to preliminary reports.
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Tyler was out on $10,000 bail stemming from a previous attempted sexual assault arrest.
Tyler was out on $10,000 bail stemming from a previous attempted sexual assault arrest.
Harris County Sheriff’s Office

Tyler Roenz currently faces extradition to Harris County to face a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

“Once investigators interview (the teen), an additional charge of murder is expected,” Gilliland said.

In March, the teen was charged with attempted sexual assault and was out on $10,000 bond, ABC13 reported. He allegedly attacked an 18-year-old girl in his car, ripped off her shirt, and then kicked her in the face in the school parking lot, according to court records.

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