Body found in Willacy County

SPIPD part of multiagency investigation, body may belong to missing priest

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

Authorities have arrested one man in connection with a body that was found in Willacy County last Friday.

Juan Carlos Baez Escobedo, 27, of Brownsville, is currently in custody at the Willacy County Sheriff’s Office, an official there confirmed Thursday.

Lt. Johnny Hernandez, with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) said Escobedo is being held on a murder charge in connection with a body which was discovered near the community of Santa Monica in rural Willacy County. As of press time Thursday, no information on Escobedo’s arraignment or bond was available.

Previously, Escobedo had been held at the Carrizales – Rucker Detention Center in Brownsville on one charge of tampering or fabricating physical evidence. Officials at that facility, which houses Cameron County inmates, said Escobedo was briefly in their custody on Tuesday, Aug. 21. He was released after posting a $15,000 bond.

The murder investigation may be tied to a missing persons case that originated on South Padre Island. William “Bill” Costello was reported missing by out-of-town family on Aug 1, South Padre Island Chief of Police Randy Smith said this week.

Investigators with the South Padre Island police department (SPIPD) were on site when the body was discovered Friday afternoon, Chief Smith confirmed.

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    • Michael johnson on August 27, 2018 at 1:41 pm
    • Reply

    Do you know the circumstances of the murder and what led to it. And that suspect has been rearrested and charged with murder and being hekd on 2 million bail. Thay said more arrest are to come.

    • Georgia McCarthy on March 8, 2019 at 8:02 pm
    • Reply

    From Ma. looking for update on Fr.Costello trial, further arrests?

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