PORT O’CONNOR – The heavy law enforcement presence that crowded Liberty Arms Boat and RV Storage on SH 185 throughout Monday and Tuesday had mostly cleared out by Wednesday afternoon.

The storage units were quiet about 3 p.m., aside from the roar of passing traffic and hum of the Victoria County Sheriff Office’s mobile command center, which remained at the site but did not appear to be occupied.

Port O'Connor search

Law enforcement officials stand in the shade as dirt is removed from storage unit No. 33 at Liberty Arms RV and Boat storage facility.

Johnny Krause, chief deputy of the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, said no details about the investigation or search at the storage facility could be released on Wednesday.

“We feel like we’re making progress and moving forward,” he said. “But we just can’t release anything that is going to or could compromise the investigation.”

Law enforcement officials oversaw the removal of cut concrete slabs from a storage unit at the property on Tuesday and removed a load of dirt from the unit to a pile that was about 5 feet tall by late afternoon.

That pile remained at the site on Wednesday, as well as a pile of cut concrete.

The sheriff’s office hopes the public will be patient with the process, Krause said.

“People have unrealistic expectations with investigations because of 40-minute TV shows where DNA results come back after a commercial break,” he said. “In reality, it takes the labs quite a while to get results back ... it is frustrating for us, for the families, for the media and for the public.”

The Texas Rangers are assisting the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office with an investigation, but are unable to release any details, Sgt. Ruben San Miguel, a spokesman with he Texas Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday.

Port O'Connor search

A Texas Ranger watches as dirt is removed from storage unit No. 33 at Liberty Arms RV and Boat storage facility.

The storage facility is owned by Jan and Patricia Maly, of New Caney, according to county property records. The second of two buildings, where law enforcement was searching, was built between June and December 2018, according to the facility’s Facebook page.

Krause said the Malys have been “100%” cooperative with law enforcement throughout the investigation and are not suspects in any case.

The activity at the storage facility came months after Suzie Escobedo, a 25-year-old mother of two from Seadrift, disappeared in early August from the mobile home she lived in with her husband and baby on Loop Road.

Days after Escobedo disappeared, sheriff's officials said they suspected foul play was involved. Search crews were unable to locate her in the months that followed.

Escobedo’s family was still looking for answers and their loved one on Wednesday.

Kali Venable is a public safety reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6558 or at kvenable@vicad.com.

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Public Safety Reporter

"I am a Houston native and 5th generation Texan, with a degree in journalism and minor in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin. I care deeply about public interests and the community I serve.”

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