The body of a missing Houston mother was found over the weekend near Midland after the woman’s estranged boyfriend admitted to her murder, police said.
Deputies spent Sunday looking for the woman’s body in the 7000-block of South County Road 1200 in Midland County.
According to the Midland County Sheriff’s Office and the Houston Police Department, 31-year-old Michelle Warner was found partially buried on private property just after 6 p.m.
According to HPD, Warner’s ex-boyfriend, Mark Castellano, confessed to her murder and was taken into custody in Harris County. He told investigators where to look for the woman.
Authorities searched by foot, mounted patrols, and helicopter before finding Warner.
HPD investigators said Warner was murdered in the Houston area. Castellano then drove their child to Odessa to stay with his parents before returning to Houston to get the mother’s body. He drove back to west Texas where he partially buried her body in a ditch on private property.
Family members said they hadn’t heard from the mother in over a week. This after she disappeared following an argument she had with her boyfriend.
"It’s still heartbreaking, but I’m happy her family has closure and that we have closure and hopefully there will be answers," said family friend Becky Barclay. "I think she was a very special girl, and there are a lot of people that are going to miss her—especially her kids."
Warner’s three-year-old son is now safe back in Houston.
Authorities charged Castellano with murder.