Life Insurance Possible Motive on Rio Hondo Teacher's Murder

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 8:56am

They believe it was the teacher's life insurance the husband was after and officials say Lopez was inside the car before he shot and killed the third grade teacher. 37-year-old, Daniel Lopez, is now the third man charged with Capital Murder. County investigators say he's the one that shot and killed Rio Hondo Intermediate School teacher, Sonia Perez, last Thursday night.

More details keep emerging as to what really happened that afternoon.

"We believe that it is very possible that this individual was given a separate set of keys so that he could get into the vehicle before she got into the vehicle coming from school."

Cameron County Chief Deputy, Gus Reyna, tells News Center 23, someone more than likely picked Lopez up after killing the teacher near Robles and Williams Roads in Rio Hondo.

"Probably, the most probable reason that this school teacher was killed was because she had an insurance policy through the school district."

The teacher's husband, 39-year-old, Julio Cesar Perez, who's also charged with Capital Murder, is believed to be the mastermind in the killing. Chief Reyna says it was Perez who gave Lopez the set of keys to get inside the teacher's van. It was said that Perez paid the men about $1,300 to kill his wife. We’re now learning he may have paid thousands more, at least $3,000.

In court documents, it states Perez went through a middleman, 19-year-old, Gabriel Escalante, to hire Lopez to complete the job, as Perez called it. Rio Hondo Independent School District officials say teachers automatically receive a $20,000 life insurance policy. It’s not known if she had an additional life insurance somewhere else.

A fourth suspect has been arrested. 39-year-old, Alfredo Castañeda, was arrested Monday after violating a failure to appear on a possession of marijuana charge in Kleberg County.

"We’ve been making a lot of progress. And I think we're pretty much ready to wrap this up within the next couple of days."

Castañeda hasn't been charged with Capital Murder yet but officials say this should be coming in the next few days.
 

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