A Texas woman is accused of shooting her boyfriend in the head while he was sleeping and then dismembering his body and tossing the remains in area dumpsters, PEOPLE confirms.
Cierra Alexis Sutton, 30, was arrested Thursday in connection with the Aug. 16 slaying of 32-year-old Steven Coleman and is charged with murder.
She is in custody in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, pending extradition back to Harris County, Texas. She has not entered a plea and it is unclear if she has retained an attorney.
Sutton’s friends reportedly claimed to police that she confessed to shooting Coleman in the head while he was sleeping in their Baytown, Texas, apartment after which she cut him up into pieces with a machete, wrapped up his body parts in sheets and duct tape and disposed of them.
Six days after the slaying, police discovered the pelvis of a man — from mid-thigh to belly button — in a local landfill but are still waiting for DNA results. “We don’t know definitely if it is our guy yet,” Baytown police Lt. Steve Dorris tells PEOPLE. “But it is safe to say it is our suspicion.”
Sutton’s arrest has shocked at least one of the couple’s neighbors. “There’s always been smiles, talk, no signs of anything that would indicate something like this,” Donald Wooten told local TV station KHOU.
The case came to light after Sutton filed a missing persons report on Aug. 18, two days after the killing. Sutton told police that she’d last seen Coleman, an aspiring rapper, around 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 16, when he left home to find his daughter, according to a probable cause statement obtained by PEOPLE.
Coleman’s two cars were still at the Briarwood Village Apartments, she allegedly told police.
But a friend told police that she spoke to Coleman on the day he disappeared and he’d said was going to stop by her house — though he never showed up. The same friend said that Coleman mentioned on numerous occasions that “if he was ever to go missing she needed to make sure the police looked into as the cause,” according to the probable cause statement.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
The probable cause statement notes that, the day after the homicide, a woman matching Sutton’s description used Coleman’s credit card to buy a memory foam bed-topper and a package of duct tape from Wal-Mart.
On Aug. 24, police executed a search warrant on the couple’s one-bedroom apartment and found traces of blood on the floor next to the bed as well as on a bed sheet, on the bathroom floor and sink and in the kitchen.
As the investigation continued, police tried to interview Sutton but she disappeared.
“Shortly after she reported him missing, we called her to do an interview and she didn’t show up for that and fell off the grid and wouldn’t call us back,” says Lt. Dorris. “That was a red flag for us.”
• PEOPLE’s special edition True Crime Stories: 35 Real Cases That Inspired the Show Law & Order is on sale now.
Police caught a break after they received a call from a tipster who told them that Sutton had allegedly confessed to Sutton’s brother’s girlfriend. The girlfriend told detectives that Sutton showed up at their house in Louisiana in early September after Hurricane Harvey.
Sutton allegedly admitted to putting the wrapped-up body parts of her boyfriend in her Jeep and taking them to different trash dumpsters.
Sutton’s best friend also told police that Sutton called her the morning after the alleged shooting and confessed that she had been arguing with Coleman and shot him while her 10-year-old daughter Trinity was in the living room.
Interviewed after her arrest, Sutton showed “no emotion, no remorse,” Dorris says. “She indicated she was present when it happened.”
Sutton allegedly told her friend she cut Coleman’s body up after killing him because she couldn’t carry him — he was too heavy in one piece.
Fashion Deals Update: