Remains Still Being Retrieved from Septic Tank in Edcouch

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EDCOUCH – Investigators continue to sift through contents after remains were found inside a septic tank in Edcouch.

Hidalgo County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home on Mile 4 W Road and Dallas Street Wednesday night. It’s believed the remains belong to a woman.  

Authorities are trying to figure out when the septic tank was last serviced and, most importantly, how the body ended up there in the first place.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said the discovery of a shoe and a bone in the septic tank launched their investigation.

“A shoe cannot be flushed down the toilet and end up in the septic tank. So, that was suspicious in nature to begin with. How did the shoe end up in the septic tank?” he questioned.

Guerra said the homeowner called police after the discovery. He said crime scene investigators then measured and photographed the bone. A pathologist later confirmed it was a human femur.

On Thursday, Hidalgo County Precinct 1 crews worked out a plan of action to avoid tampering with evidence inside.

“We’re going to have to escarbar all the way around and then lift up. We’re going to have to set it on the lowboy and transport it to Edinburg,” a crew member said.

Guerra said plans changed by nighttime.

“We determined that it was a 500-gallon septic tank. If we dug, it would probably – it might crack and the possibility that we would lose evidence,” he said.

Guerra said investigators continue to search through every single bit of the tank to avoid missing any evidence. He said they were already piecing the body back together by the first 100 gallons.

“We have recovered, so far, various ribs. We’ve got the skull. The skull does have the teeth intact. We’re at the process right now. Obviously, it’s going to take a while,” he said.

Resident San Juanita De Ena said she got chills after realizing a crime took place few feet away from her childhood home.

“My kids stay with my mom. To get here and see police, well yeah, it frightens me a little bit. Like what happened? What’s going on?” she said.

Guerra said the size of the skull and shoe leads investigators to believe the victim is a woman. With limited information, they are unsure how long the body was inside the septic tank.

He said a pathologist is working to determine the cause of death. We’re told DNA from the teeth will be used to identify the body.

Police said there is no person of interest in the case. They will interview the people who live in the house on Dallas Street in Edcouch and will look at how many and what dispatch calls were made to the address. 


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