Brownsville man to be charged with murder

RAYMONDVILLE — A Brownsville man is expected to be charged today in connection with the investigation into a body buried in a remote Willacy County area last week.

A judge is expected to charge Juan Carlos Baez Escobedo, 27, with murder in an arraignment hearing.

The Texas Rangers arrested Baez Escobedo before he was booked into the Willacy County Jail on Wednesday.

Baez Escobedo was arrested after being held in the Cameron County Jail on a South Padre Island charge of tampering with physical evidence Tuesday, officials said.

The case remains under investigation.

Earlier this week, Maj. Ernie Garcia of the Willacy County Sheriff’s Department said authorities were investigating “multiple suspects.”

Authorities continue to withhold the results of a preliminary autopsy conducted Monday.

Meanwhile, they are not confirming whether the remains found buried near Santa Monica are those of William “Bill” Costello, 71, a retired Massachusetts parish priest who went missing from South Padre Island earlier this month.

On Aug. 1, Costello was last seen at the Tiki Condominiums on South Padre Island.

Last Friday, Willacy County sheriff’s deputies were led to human remains buried in a remote area between two levees about three miles east of Santa Monica.

In Fall River, Mass., the Catholic Diocese stated the remains found near Santa Monica were those of Costello, who served as a parish priest in Massachusetts before coming to Texas more than three years ago.

“The circumstances of the matter are disturbing,” the diocese stated Monday.

The Willacy County Sheriff’s Department, South Padre Island police, the Texas Rangers and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating the case.