NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico – The caretaker of a Texas priest's home in Nuevo Laredo admitted Tuesday to killing the 69-year-old reverend and said the two were intimately involved.
Manuel Martin Torres told police and reporters during a news conference that he stabbed and attacked Rev. Jesse Euresti with a machete after learning the priest was kicking him out of the home.
Torres said he had demanded Euresti pay him between $10,000 and $15,000.
Torres said he had been seeing the priest for the past year, and he would visit him every Monday in Nuevo Laredo. He said Euresti had recently met someone else.
"I was so angry," Torres said. "How is it possible that after using me for so long, he was going to give me a kick in the butt?"
Messages seeking comment from the Diocese of Austin and Euresti's family were not immediately returned Tuesday.
Euresti vanished a week ago after going to the Nuevo Laredo house he bought in September to do some repair work. A neighbor called police after finding blood in the garage and his bedroom, said Euresti's niece, Beatrice Rios. His mattress and an area rug were missing.
Euresti's body was found off a highway in Nuevo Laredo over the weekend after Torres allegedly called the reverend's family to demand 3,000 pesos, about $220, for information on its whereabouts. The family paid less than the demanded amount, said police Commander Guillermo Bermudez Davila. Torres was arrested Sunday when he tried to collect the money at a bank in the southern state of Chiapas.
Family members confirmed the identity of the decomposed body Monday.
Torres, who is from Honduras, said he demanded money from Euresti's family after he was mugged while trying to cross the Guatemalan border.
Christian Gonzalez, spokesman for the Diocese of Austin, said Euresti, the pastor of Cristo Rey Catholic Church in south Austin, had been making weekly trips to work on the house before his scheduled retirement in July. He planned to retire in Nuevo Laredo.
The priest, ordained in 1965, had worked as an Air Force chaplain and in bilingual parishes throughout Texas before returning to Cristo Rey, his childhood parish, in the final years of his career.