A married father from Florida is being accused of killing his mistress, who was 8 months pregnant with a child authorities say he fathered, according to reports from PEOPLE.
41-year-old Jose Soto-Escalera is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of Tania Wise, 23, whose body was discovered in a ditch on August 24, St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bryan Beaty confirmed to the publication.
Beaty reports that Wise suffered blunt force trauma to the back of her head as well as trauma to her throat, though authorities have not yet released her official cause of death.
An arrest affidavit obtained by PEOPLE states that a witness told police that Soto-Escalera had given Wise $500 for an abortion, and was very angry that Wise didn’t end up getting one. According to the affidavit, the Florida man denied to police that he was in a sexual relationship with Wise and said instead that he was at another person’s home fixing a car battery on the night she was killed.
Soto-Escalera was arrested on September 21. A statement from the sheriff’s office states that digital forensic evidence connected the suspect to the crime, along with an eyewitness’ confirmation of seeing his truck near the crime scene.
Authorities believe that the man’s wife was unaware about his relationship with Wise, the affidavit states.
Sheriff Ken Mascara told Treasure Coast Newspapers, “We know that he was the father of the baby, we know that she had some other individuals in her life, men in her life. We don’t know if jealousy was a motive, we don’t know if there was other motives involved.”
Mascara also told the paper that the woman was scheduled to have a C-section the week after her body was found, also saying that Soto-Escalera did not seem remorseful what-so-ever to police when he was arrested.
Wise was pregnant with what would have been her second child.
Soto-Escalera is now being held without bail in St. Lucie County Jail, according to jail records. He has not yet entered a plea, Beaty says.