FORT WORTH -- The day after news emerged that a young mother was thrown from a bridge to her death -- allegedly by her estranged husband -- domestic violence advocates were left shocked.

Some said they couldn't recall a recent case that was so horrific.

Fort Worth police say they recovered the body of Elizabeth Arellano, 28, from Lake Worth earlier this month.

After a week-and-a-half-long investigation, detectives now think her estranged husband, Rodolfo Arellano, tracked her whereabouts, kidnapped her, and tossed her from the Loop 820 bridge on April 16.

Family holds up a photo of Elizabeth Arellano.
Family holds up a photo of Elizabeth Arellano.

They say she had a rope tied around her neck, attached to a concrete boulder.

"There are a lot of concerns with the gravity of this family's situation," said Michelle Morgan, the executive director of One Safe Place in Fort Worth.

The family justice center specializes in domestic and family violence situations.

She says their caseload has steadily increased since opening four years ago.

They now see 100 new clients every month. Nearly all of them are women trying to escape abusive relationships. The majority of them are in "extreme risk" situations, too.

"That means they're really at risk for a homicide to occur," Morgan said. "Most people are walking in when it's really, really bad."

Michelle Morgan
Michelle Morgan

She says Arellano never visited the nondescript center on Rosedale Avenue.

But as a former victim's assistance coordinator with Fort Worth police, Morgan has seen case after case where relationships spiraled downward.

An arrest warrant affidavit indicates the Arellanos were about to divorce. They also have four children.

The document suggests Arellano was tracking his wife's location the night she died.

"When you're estranged and there are children involved, that is definitely one of the riskier time periods," Morgan said. "Emotions are all over the map."

The victim's family said on Wednesday they didn't want to discuss much about the couple's history, and that they hoped detectives could see if there were past issues.

"I don't know. We don't know," said Johanna Kelly, Elizabeth's sister. "That is up to the detectives to find out."

The family says it remains focused on remembering better times with the vibrant mother of four.

Funeral plans are pending.