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Authorities investigate possible homicide: Remains may be of South Padre Island man

August 21, 2018

By FERNANDO DEL VALLE

Staff Writer

RAYMONDVILLE — Authorities are investigating a possible homicide after human remains were found in a remote area of southern Willacy County.

Preliminary autopsy results are expected today to determine whether a body found about three miles east of Santa Monica is that of a missing 71-year-old South Padre Island man.

But many questions remain.

Last Friday, authorities found a body between two levees about three miles east of Santa Monica in Willacy County, Sheriff Larry Spence said yesterday.

Maj. Ernie Garcia said the case is “leaning” toward a homicide investigation.

“There are multiple suspects,” Garcia said.

Despite other media reports stating an arrest has been made, Garcia said he could not confirm that.

On Aug. 1, South Padre Island police began investigating the disappearance of William Costello, 71, last seen at the Tiki Condominiums.

After he went missing, friends put up posters asking for help in finding Costello, who owns a 2009 Honda Accord and a dog answering to the name Grace.

In Cape Cod, Mass., a television station described Costello as a retired priest from St. Anthony’s Parish in East Falmouth, Mass who moved to Texas three or four years ago.

“While conducting the investigation, investigators obtained information that led to a rural area in Willacy County where human remains were located,” South Padre Island officials stated.

Garcia said autopsy reports are expected today and more answers should follow.

South Padre Island police, the Texas Rangers and the Federal Bureau of Investigations are also investigating the case.

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