DOCUMENT: Ex-boyfriend lost control, “knowingly caused the death” of area woman

Published 12:10 am Thursday, November 17, 2022

The body of a Beaumont woman who worked in Orange was found Nov. 5 on a gravel road. She was likely strangled to death, according to a preliminary autopsy report.

Marilu Lopez-Berrios, whose death was ruled homicide, also had signs of blunt force trauma to her head and torso, the document says.

Lopez-Berrios was reported missing by her son on the morning of Nov. 3 after she failed to arrive at work the day before.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The woman worked at Chick-fil-A in Orange.

Marilu Lopez-Berrios

A probable cause affidavit says her son told a Beaumont Police Department detective that his mother’s ex, Jose Wil Lopez, had been harassing her “and he believed that Jose Wil Lopez did something to his mother.”

Two days later, officers found Lopez in the 200 block of Poplar Street. At 6:13 p.m., the affidavit says, he led investigators to a gravel road in the area of 7860 Broussard Road, where the body of the 39-year-old was found.

“He described to me in detail how he lost control and intentionally and knowingly caused the death of the victim,” the detective wrote in her report. “He also gave a timeline of his actions. He stated it was his decision to take her life.”

Lopez was jailed on a charge of murder and, as of Wednesday, remained in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility on a $950,000 bond. Jail records show he’s also on a hold from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Co-worker Cecilia Manzo said opening the store without Lopez-Berrios has been a heartbreaking experience.

“Marilu deserves to be remembered in our community, from making the best biscuits in the morning to helping run our busiest lunches,” Manzo said. “Coming in early and staying late, she worked hard everyday for her family and loved her Chick-fil-A family just as much as we loved her.

“The restaurant won’t be the same without her, but we’ll seek to honor her memory daily. Everyone is coming together, and that’s the end goal to remember her for the sweet soul that she was.”

On Nov. 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the restaurant donated 100% of proceeds from all sales to Marilu’s family via the GoFundMe to help with funeral costs.

Another coworker created a GoFundMe to help raise funds for Lopez-Berrios’ family. It can be found by logging onto gofundme.com and searching “Funeral Expenses for Marilú Lopez.”

RELATED: Co-workers share love for homicide victim