Man charged in death of retired Mass. priest found buried in Texas

RAYMONDVILLE, Texas (AP) — Authorities say a man has been charged in the death of a retired Roman Catholic priest whose body was found buried in a remote area of far South Texas after he went missing earlier this month.

Texas authorities confirmed Friday that the body found Aug. 17 in Willacy County was that of 71-year-old William “Bill” Costello, a retired Massachusetts parish priest. He’d last been seen Aug. 1 on South Padre Island.

The Valley Morning Star in Harlingen reports that 27-year-old Juan Carlos Baez Escobedo was arrested Wednesday in the slaying. He remained jailed Saturday on $2 million bond on a murder charge. Jail records didn’t list an attorney for him.

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The Catholic Diocese in Fall River, Massachusetts, said Costello came to Texas more than three years ago.