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A man is on the run after Florida detectives say he killed his elderly adoptive mother.
Aroldo Paz, 39, lived with his adoptive mother, Perfecta Paz Paz, 74, who was also his biological aunt, when she was reported missing on Wednesday, according to a media release from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Perfecta’s sister, who also lived in the home, hadn’t seen Perfecta since 5:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. When the sister returned home after work the following day, Aroldo and his car were missing, as was some cash belonging to Perfecta.
Relatives claimed Perfecta was in the early stages of dementia, said Sheriff Grady Judd at a press conference, stating investigators initially suspected she’d wandered off. An agricultural investigator found a woman’s slipper on the 1.5-acre property in an area near natural shrubs and fruit trees.
“While checking the area around the residence, detectives located some freshly disturbed soil,” said the sheriff’s office. “The victim’s body was found buried there in a shallow grave, with visible indications that she suffered a violent death.”
Aroldo moved into the sisters’ home following a construction-related injury he suffered at a Texas construction site, according to the sheriff. Judd said that while Perfecta and her sister are legal immigrants from Honduras, Aroldo has “no legal standing in this country.”
Perfecta adopted Aroldo as a young child after his biological mother passed away. From 2003 until sometime last spring, Aroldo lived and worked in Texas, where the sheriff believes he may be.
“He should be considered armed and dangerous,” Sheriff Judd stated in the release.
Judd said witnesses reported arguments between Perfecta and Aroldo, discussing a reported incident last summer.
“About two months ago, Aroldo and his aunt, who adopted him as her child, had an argument over money, and she said she wanted her money back,” said Judd. “It is reported to us by witnesses that Perfecta said at the time that Aroldo pulled a gun on her and threatened her.”
Judd said that according to Perfecta’s sister, Aroldo remained in the home but that Perfecta kept pressuring Aroldo.
“He finally did away with Perfecta,” said Judd.
Detectives issued a warrant for first-degree murder, grand theft, and tampering with evidence, according to the media release. Authorities believe Aroldo is back in Texas and was spotted in the greater Houston area. Aroldo is believed to be driving a 1999 beige Toyota Camry with Texas License plate number PTC 9735.
Sheriff Judd, known for his outspoken, and prejudicial views on immigration said that there is the possibility that Aroldo may be headed back to Honduras but was unaware if he had any existing connections in his home country.
“If he is, he shouldn’t be too difficult to find,” said Judd. “’cuz he’d be the only Hispanic going south of the border when everybody else is coming north of the border.”
Authorities are not releasing the cause of death.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.
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