The family of a murdered 17-year-old says she was trapped in a violent relationship that cost the teen her life.
Police say Desiree Morris was killed by her 29-year-old boyfriend, Ivan Arellano, who later took his own life. Her body was found Tuesday in a Grand Prairie field. She was last seen by her family on March 19.
Relatives say they'd finally gotten Morris away from Arellano and warned her about going back to the abusive relationship, but he'd show up unexpectedly.
“You are going to end up dead,” Margaret Flores remembered warning her niece. “After the last time she left, we knew that was it.”
Arlington police responded to a domestic disturbance call Monday afternoon between Arellano and another man. They arrived to find Arellano in a vehicle nearby - killing himself as police moved in. Police say the person he'd been arguing with told them Arellano confessed to killing Morris before shooting himself. Police searched and located Morris’ body in Grand Prairie off Pioneer Parkway.
Family members say on March 10, they filed a police report after Morris showed up with bite marks and said Arellano had beaten her with a wrench. Police say Morris told them she'd been beaten multiple times before that, allowing them to file a continuous family violence charge against Arellano and issue an arrest warrant. They began their search but never found him.
“He had borrowed, I believe, a friends van,” said Grand Prairie Detective Lyle Gensler. “He had left the house where we were looking for him and was just kind of staying with friends throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”
Morris’ family says she was brainwashed and often felt she was to blame for the abuse. They say they want other families to learn from their pain.
“We just want to put out there domestic violence is serious and not to take it lightly,” said Flores. “Never give up because you never know when it could be the last time.”
Police say after Morris filed charges against Arellano, she called several times to try to get the charges dropped. Police and her family believe Arellano coerced her do that. Her relatives say she told them Arellano said repeatedly he refused to go back to prison.