POLK COUNTY, Fla. — The man Polk County deputies say "violently" killed a 74-year-old woman and buried her in the backyard was arrested in Texas, authorities say.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office confirms Aroldo Paz was arrested by U.S. Marshals.
Polk County deputies say he was arrested Monday by Marshals in the Houston area after deputies got a tip from Crime Stoppers.
Following Paz's arrested, Polk County deputies say they flew out to Texas and interviewed Paz. Deputies say after giving them "inconsistent statements," Paz finally admitted he "beat his aunt to death."
He will be held in the Harris County Jail without bond until he can be extradited to Polk County, the sheriff's office says.
"We thank the U.S. Marshals for their professionalism and successful capture of Aroldo Paz," Sheriff Grady Judd said. "This is the beginning of making sure he is held accountable for this brutal and senseless murder. Our continued thoughts and prayers are with Perfecta Paz's family."
Polk County deputies had been looking for Paz, who is accused of "violently" killing Perfecta Paz, his adoptive mother, Sheriff Grady Judd said.
Judd says that Perfecta was reported missing by her sister last Wednesday after she wasn't seen the day prior. The sister reportedly came home after work the day before and saw 39-year-old Aroldo Paz, who was also living with the two sisters, in the yard.
After coming home from work and still not finding Perfecta, the sister realized that Aroldo was now missing, too, Judd explains. He had left in a 1999 beige Toyota Camry with all of his belongings.
Aroldo, who was Perfecta's adoptive son, was living in the house for seven months after the sisters agreed to help him after he was injured in construction in Texas.
With Aroldo now gone, the sheriff's office then was alerted of the situation.
Deputies initially thought it was possible Perfecta may have wandered off by herself because of the family believing she is in the beginning stages of dementia, Judd said. They decided to search the woods and the side of the road leading to the house.
The sheriff's office's search for Perfecta and repeated attempts to contact Aroldo had no success, according to the sheriff.
So, they started to search for the missing woman again the next day, and agriculture deputies decided to start their search back at the house, Judd explained. After walking the fence line in search of any possible holes Perfecta could've walked out through, the deputy walked over what was called a "soft area" inside the fenced area.
According to Judd, the deputy dug a "pilot hole" and pulled out a woman's slipper, which matched the description of the shoes Perfecta was last seen wearing. Law enforcement then started to excavate what they said they knew to be a gravesite.
Deputies worked through the night unearthing Perfecta, who reportedly died a "violent" death, Judd said.
The area where the body was found was surrounded by fruit trees and bushes, making it almost impossible to tell if a body was buried there, according to the sheriff.
The sheriff says it is believed Aroldo "violently murdered the woman who adopted him" and buried her body in a shallow grave.
Deputies are now searching for Aroldo, who has warrants out for his arrest on the charges of first-degree murder, grand theft and tampering with evidence, Judd said.
There is evidence the car he drove away in was last seen in the greater Houston area, according to the sheriff.
Perfecta, her sister and Aroldo are originally from Honduras, Judd explained. Aroldo is said to be the nephew of Perfecta and was adopted by his aunt after his birth mother died.
While Perfecta and her sister were living in the U.S. legally, Aroldo, who moved to the country in 2003, is considered to be illegally in the country, the sheriff said. Detectives don't know where he is going or if he plans on returning to Honduras at this time.
Judd reported witness accounts saying Perfecta and Aroldo got into an argument two months prior about some money he owed his adoptive mother. Aroldo apparently pulled a gun out on Perfecta during this fight.
After this situation calmed down, they continued to live with each other.
According to the sister, Perfecta continued to complain about Aroldo's actions even after the situation, Judd explained.
"He couldn't do anything right [in her eyes]. She just nagged him and nagged him and nagged him," Judd said. "Apparently, according to Aroldo, from what we see in evidence, he finally did away with Perfecta."
Judd says detectives know how the accused man killed her but plan to not release that information at this time, claiming law enforcement needs to talk with Aroldo before.
"He's just a nasty man and needs to be arrested quickly," Judd said at the news conference.
Family members of Perfecta in Honduras interviewed with 10 Tampa Bay explaining, their hearts are broken. They described Perfecta as a hard-working woman who loved her family. Her nephew, Denis Paz said, Perfecta treated Aroldo like her own son.
Family members are shocked to hear she was killed and now they want justice. Family members believe Aroldo could be trying to go to Mexico, adding he has family there.
Her nephew, Denis Paz said, Perfecta's family in Honduras hopes investigators catch Aroldo soon.