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The remains of a young Texas man who disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 2021 have been found and identified.
Jacob Dubois, 22, was last seen leaving his home in Schertz, Texas — a northeastern suburb of San Antonio — to meet a friend, Ethan Beckman on the night of March 7, 2021. He has not been seen since.
On Tuesday, officers with the Schertz Police Department announced that Dubois’s remains were discovered earlier this month in Comal County, just north of San Antonio.
“On Sept. 14, 2022, Schertz PD was notified by the Comal County Sheriff’s Department about human remains located and recovered within their jurisdiction,” said police. “Shertz PD Detectives were able to work with Comal County Sheriff’s Department to expedite identification of the remains.”
Police released few other details about the body but, according to The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, a man and woman notified Comal County officials that they'd found human remains in a wooded area on Stahl Lane in Bulverde — about 25 miles north of Dubois’s home — around 2:40 p.m. on Sept. 10. They turned out to be Dubois'.
The pair was described as volunteers scouting old cemeteries to upload into an app used to inform people of their loved one’s final resting places. (There are several small family cemeteries in the area, with graves dating back to the 19th century — including two near the wooded area of Stahl Lane where Dubois' remains were found.)
Although Dubois’s cause and manner of death have yet to be officially determined, police say “the investigation into the murder charges is ongoing” and note that Beckman was previously arrested for tampering with evidence in connection with Dubois’s disappearance.
Dubois reportedly told his girlfriend he was off to meet Beckman, leaving his home at around 11:45 p.m. on March 7, 2021, according to police. The girlfriend notified authorities the following day when Dubois failed to return home and she couldn’t get ahold of Beckman.
Beckman allegedly told authorities he and Dubois had driven to a construction site near Homestead Parkway and Somervell, not far from Dubois’s home in Schertz. From there, Beckman allegedly claimed Dubois decided he wanted to walk home.
Police filed the missing person's report for Dubois the following day when still nobody could reach him.
In court records obtained by ABC affiliate KSAT-TV, investigators claim that, on March 8, Beckman drove his gray 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GTI (the one in which he'd claimed to have driven around with Dubois the previous night) north on U.S. Route 281 and parked it in a developing are on Johnson Way near Bulverde — about 20 miles northwest of Dubois’s home and just a few miles south of where Dubois’s remains were later found.
Investigators alleged that Beckman used a ride-sharing app to make multiple back-and-forth trips to Walmart to purchase “items that could possibly be used in an attempt to dispose of or destroy a body.”
Police also said that, at some point on March 8, Beckman was “involved in a collision” that caused damage to the front right side of the Volkswagen, according to Guadalupe County Crime Stoppers.
Authorities with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and the San Antonio Police Department approached Beckman after his car stalled on U.S. Route 281 in San Antonio in the early morning hours of March 9 — on the road between Bulverde and Schertz. Police body cam footage allegedly captured the officer referring to lighter fluid and paper towels in Beckman’s car, according to KSAT-TV, and noted bleach spots on his clothing.
“On March 10, detectives were able to speak with Ethan again regarding Jacob’s disappearance,” police stated. “Ethan continued to give conflicting stories as to how long he and Jacob had driven around and where Ethan had dropped Jacob off.”
The Schertz Police Department said in a statement that they seized Beckman's vehicle on March 11.
"Upon initial inspection, it appeared as though someone had attempted to clean the inside to the point where the floorboard was soaked with water,” the statement read. “During the search, the presence of blood was also discovered on and around the passenger seat."
A spent bullet casing was also found inside the vehicle, according to court records. They later allegedly learned that Beckman had made plans to sell the car and allegedly had conversations with the buyer about having the vehicle crushed, per KSAT-TV.
Beckman was charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence on March 12, 2021, and arrested on March 29, 2021.
He remains at the Guadalupe County Jail on $850,000 bond. So far, his charges have not changed since his 2021 arrest.
“When our son disappeared, we had hope that he would come home,” Dubois’s mother, Silvia Dubois, said in a November press conference. “Our hopes were shattered when the evidence was found that would point to the possibility that our son may no longer be with us.”
Police say they continue to work the case with state and federal officials “to gather additional information to bring resolution to the case.” It will be up to the Guadalupe County District Attorney’s Office to decide whether or not to charge Beckman with murder.
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