SAN ANGELO, Texas — A pregnant Texas woman was found dead inside a freezer Monday and her ex-boyfriend, an alleged child predator, is charged in her death following a multiagency search that ended the following day.
William James Hernandez, also known as William Martinez, is being held in the Tom Green County Jail. Hernandez, 39, of San Angelo, is charged with murder and tampering with a corpse in the death of 23-year-old Selena Ann Bradley.
Hernandez is also being held on outstanding warrants for assault causing bodily harm and child sex abuse charges, jail records show.
An arrest affidavit obtained by the Ablilene Reporter News said that Bradley was last seen alive on Friday. The victim’s mother, Christie Skelton, told KTXS in Abilene that a Facebook post on her daughter’s profile claimed she was fine on Saturday.
“Listen, I’m fine,” the post read. “I’m OK, I’m just want to be left ... alone. When I’m ready to come back, I will. I have to get me and my happiness together.”
Authorities allege that Bradley was already dead as of Saturday. Skelton told the news station that Hernandez had her daughter’s cellphone over the weekend.
Skelton thanked law enforcement for their work in apprehending Hernandez.
“Thank you to all law enforcement involved in catching the monster that murdered my daughter and unborn grandbaby,” she wrote on Facebook.
Bradley was pregnant with her third child when she was slain.
According to the San Angelo Police Department, their detectives, along with deputies from the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office, on Monday executed search warrants on both a commercial building in the 1100 block of South Chadbourne Street and Hernandez’s home, located less than a mile away at 123 Allen St.
At Hernandez’s home, they found Bradley’s body wrapped in a blue tarp and hidden away in a kitchen freezer, the Reporter News reported.
According to the arrest affidavit, investigators were able to identify Bradley through photos and the distinctive purple color of her hair. She had “marks on her neck on the left side of her face consistent with being struck and assaulted,” the document states.
Detectives were led to Hernandez’s freezer by a childhood friend of Hernandez, who told them in an interview that Hernandez admitted Friday that he’d hurt Bradley, saying he’d “done something terrible and would go to prison for life.”
He also told the friend Bradley’s body was stored in the freezer at his home, according to the Reporter News.
Investigators also spoke to the mother of Hernandez’s 4-year-old daughter, who said he had called her on Monday, distraught and crying, and asked to speak to the child. While speaking with the girl’s mother, he allegedly confessed to “killing his ex-girlfriend,” the affidavit states.
Once Bradley’s body was discovered on Monday, the search for Hernandez began in earnest.
“Pursuant to the field investigation, detectives obtained information that led them to believe Hernandez could be in Abilene,” San Angelo police officials said in a statement.
With help from the Abilene Police Department, Hernandez was tracked to a car wash there. He avoided capture, however, by crashing into a police vehicle and driving away.
“The vehicle Hernandez was operating was later discovered in Jones County, unoccupied and disabled in a field,” San Angelo authorities said.
Hernandez was believed to have fled on foot. The Reporter News reported that he remained at large until around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, when a police officer in Hamlin spotted him walking along a road and placed him under arrest.
The murder investigation is not the first major case in which Hernandez found himself embroiled this year. He was arrested Feb. 25 on suspicion of ongoing sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14.
According to the San Angelo Standard-Times, Hernandez was indicted in 2018 for allegedly assaulting the same girl four times in a single day in June 2017. Despite the indictment, he was not arrested until this year.
He was charged with suspicion of continuous sex abuse of a child younger than 14, two counts of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact, the Standard-Times reported.
© 2020 Cox Media Group