Residents Mourn Disappearance of Former Priest

Local News

Investigation is ongoing after a tip led to human remains found in connection with a missing man from South Padre Island, but the identity of the body is still unknown. 

William Bill Costello, 71, was last seen at Tiki Condominiums in South Padre Island on August 1.

He was the pastor of a catholic church in Massachusetts for more than a decade before he retired from the church and moved to South Padre Island three to four years ago.

“During our course of the investigation we’ve gotten a lot of information and some of that information had us network with neighboring counties to try and see if there’s any connection,” said South Padre Island Police Chief Randy Smith.

“We don’t have an absolute idea of anything yet and this is involving multiple agencies and multiple jurisdictions so there’s a lot of moving parts with this investigation. Right now it’s still ongoing, so we can’t say a whole lot about the case,” Smith said. 

Human remains were found buried three miles east of Santa Monica. 

Investigators obtained information that led them to the rural area in Willacy County. 

SPIPD, the Willacy County Sheriff’s Office, and Texas Rangers spent Friday evening at the location where the remains were buried.

He was a well-liked priest, parishioners were heartbroken when they heard the news and were mourning his disappearance during a service.

Employees and residents of Tiki Condominiums, are also distraught, saying he was very thoughtful, often offering water and Gatorade to employees working in the sun.

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