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Body of missing Abilene man found near Barnhart

Additional suspects identified

IRION COUNTY, Texas - The body of 41-year-old Eric Torrez of Abilene was found Friday afternoon in an area eight miles south of Barnhart, confirming suspicions by the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office that his disappearance was a case of homicide.

The sheriff's office also says charges will be filed against three people currently in custody and additional suspects who were identified during the investigation.

Torrez was last seen on July 21 before going to San Angelo to bid on a contract. Police say his cell phone was last tracked to a location on Duckworth Road in San Angelo.

TGCSO had a special operations crew searching the Irion County grasslands Friday afternoon before finding Torrez's body, according to our partners at San Angelo LIVE. It's not yet known how investigators learned to search the area.

(PHOTOS -> Investigators find Eric Torrez's body near Barnhart)

Three people are currently in custody in connection with Torrez's disappearance, according to the sheriff's office, including the mother of Torrez's child, Kristen Jennings. She was charged with burglary of a habitation.

Abilene police say Kristen forced her way into Torrez’s home and confronted his mother, Delores Cortez on the same day Torrez went missing. According to a court document obtained by KTXS, they argued about the 4-year-old girl she had with Torrez. During the argument, Jennings pushed Cortez to the floor and “forcibly took” her daughter, according to the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office.

Two days earlier, Kristen posted on Facebook that she was “seriously done with the ‘legal’ way of doing this!!”

Torrez's truck was later found abandoned in Ballinger.

Jennings' husband and father-in-law were booked on charges of tampering with evidence.

No murder charges have been filed at this time. The Tom Green County Sheriff's Office said more details would come in a news release to be issued in the near future.

Torrez's family members held a prayer circle for him this week, saying they were hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. Torrez's sister, Victoria De Loera, told KTXS Friday that the family "would like to thank everyone for all of their prayers and support."

"[We] ask that they continue to pray for [Torrez'] son and daughter and our family as we heal and attempt to find answers," De Loera said.


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