Texas police have announced that skeletal remains discovered months ago in a septic tank belong to a woman that’s been missing for more than a decade, as reported by CBS4.
KRGV reports that Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said that DNA analysis confirmed the remains belonged to Leona Marie Tollett Johnson, who was reported missing in 2004.
Authorities found the woman’s remains on July 26, after being called to the home of Aristeo Cervantes Jr., 40. The man’s daughter and her boyfriend called police after having issues with the septic tank, finding a woman’s boot and a large bone inside of it as they attempted to make repairs, according to KGBT.
Cervantes is currently serving a 12-year sentence for stabbing his wife in 2015.
During questioning, Cervantes confessed to killing a woman during a dispute and stuffing her body in a septic tank in 2004.
Cervantes’ account is consistent with Johnson’s cause of death, police say. Investigators believe Johnson was in her 20s when she was fatally stabbed with a sharp object.
Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office also announced that they have issued an arrest warrant for Cervantes on murder charges. The police department is working with the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office to formally charge the 40-year-old.
Johnson’s body was sent to Virginia to undergo DNA testing. Guerra previously noted that the Sheriff’s Office researched missing person cases and welfare concerns to identify the victim.
This is a developing story. Check back with CrimeOnline for updates as they become available.
[Featured Image: Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office]