AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin man arrested in Jefferson County after hitting law enforcement vehicles in a high-speed chase near Louisiana is linked to the death of a missing woman, police said.
The Austin Police Department held a press conference on Wednesday, detailing the investigation that led to their discovery of a body that they believe is 40-year-old San Juana Macias, who was reported missing Friday, as well as the arrest of 40-year-old Jamie Jerome Wingwood, Macias' ex-boyfriend.
Detective Brad Herries with the APD Cold Case Homicide and Missing Persons Unit said they were called on Sunday by the families of both Macias and Wingwood. Macias' family reported that she was missing, while Wingwood's family said they believed Macias had been injured and possibly killed.
Macias was last seen on Friday, July 5, at 1105 Clayton Lane at about 4 p.m.
The family members had received texts and calls from Wingwood that led APD to believe Macias was in imminent danger. So, at approximately 6:30 p.m. Sunday, the Cold Case and Missing Persons Unit was contacted and briefed on the case. Wingwood, Macias and Wingwood's maroon 2008 Honda Accord were entered into state and national databases.
On Monday, APD was contacted by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, who said they were in pursuit of Wingwood's car. That pursuit continued into Beaumont, Orange County and Westlake, Louisiana, police said. The pursuit lasted over an hour and ended in Calcasieu Parish when Wingwood crashed into two police cars, causing a major crash between another car and an 18-wheeler, before being apprehended.
An APD Cold Case and Missing Persons detective and Texas Ranger were sent to Louisiana to conduct an on-scene investigation. On Tuesday, they spoke with Wingwood in jail and he made statements that led APD to the Roadway Inn at 1601 East Highway 290 in Austin, near Interstate 35.
There, officers found a woman's body in a motel room. The body's physical descriptors matched that of Macias, and police said the body had "obvious trauma."
Police detailed how they found her body in an arrest affidavit obtained by KVUE.
Once the body was found, the investigation became a death investigation and was transferred to the APD Homicide Unit. The autopsy is still pending, as are cause and manner of death.
Det. Herries said Wednesday that, at this point, there "have been indications that are consistent" with the belief that Wingwood killed Macias, but no charges have been filed at this point. No charges can be filed until the cause and manner of death are determined.
Det. Herries said Wingwood and Macias had an ongoing, on-and-off relationship and that they had made previous calls to the APD. Det. Herries didn't know the details of those calls, but KVUE did obtain an affidavit for an arrest warrant from July 2016 where Wingwood violated a protective order against him for assaulting Macias, who was his girlfriend at the time.
It is not believed that they were dating at the time of this homicide incident.
Wingwood has eight previous convictions dating back to 1996. His previous convictions include but are not limited to second-degree felony aggravated assault that caused serious bodily injury, felony possession of a controlled substance, DWI and felony criminal mischief. Wingwood also has two felony drug possession cases pending with active warrants in Travis County.
The APD assets sent to Louisiana are on their way back to Austin, according to Det. Herries.
Anyone with any information related to Wingwood or Macias over the past five to seven days is asked to call the APD Homicide Tipline at 512-477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS.
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