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Deputies investigate body found in Placedo (Video)

By Jessica Priest
Nov. 16, 2012 at 5:16 a.m.
Updated Nov. 17, 2012 at 5:17 a.m.


PLACEDO – Marie McConahie had planned to stop for a minute or two on Friday to post “no trespassing” signs at some vacant buildings her family owns in Placedo.

Vandals had previously smashed the structures’ windows in the 500 block of Crockett Street. The place hasn’t been home to any one in almost 10 years.

The only reason she went inside a garage used for storage was to investigate a hole some lightning likely left in the roof.

That’s when she saw human legs dangling from the back seat of an open car. That’s when she bolted out of there to call the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office.

“I couldn’t even look at it,” McConahie said hours later as deputies combed through the site of the skeletal remains. “It was wearing men’s clothing.”

Capt. Abel Arriazola said the individual does not appear to be a homicide victim. He said the body, which may have laid there for more than a year undiscovered, was sent to Nueces County for analysis.

“There are more questions at this point in the investigation than there are answers,” he said, adding it may be months before officials learn the deceased’s gender, ethnicity or age.

Arriazola said there were no open missing persons reports on file with the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office, but they’ll be checking with surrounding law enforcement agencies as the person’s identity becomes more clear.

McConahie suspects the individual hopped off a nearby train and broke into the garage to get out of bad weather. She sat in her car about 4 p.m. clutching another body that was fading fast – a kitten she’d found near a fence. Snakes had bitten it.

“I guess it’s just my day for discovery,” she said, sadly. “I hope they find out whoever that is in there. If it were my family member, I’d want to give them a proper burial.”

Neighbors, meanwhile, were shocked to hear about the gruesome discovery.

Day Sanchez, who owns a house and runs a beauty parlor next door, said she was frightened when she saw a stranger standing around there about a year ago. Her family didn’t believe her when she told them about it later.

“I remember it smelled really bad, but I guess I just didn’t think anything of it,” she said, recalling how dead opossums, raccoons and even armadillos usually turn up in the brush. “Maybe now they’ll listen to me.”

Ramon Estrada, also a resident of 32 years, recalled how he’d given illegal immigrants water and sandwiches as they’d disembark from the trains.

He hasn’t seen any in a while, but guessed the person found Friday died of a rattlesnake bite. Estrada has some 15 cats to ward the rep tiles off his property.

“This is a rinky dinky town. Things like this are rare,” he said.

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