The charred remains of a missing Texas family of three have been found, and a man has been charged with killing them.
Robert Satterfield was arrested on Saturday and faces three counts of murder for the deaths of Ray Hudson Sr., 28, Maya Rivera, 24, and their five-year-old son, Ray Shawn Jr., according to a news release by the Wharton County Sheriff, obtained by Oxygen.com.
“These charges may be upgraded to a capital offense after the case is submitted to the District Attorney’s office,” the statement says.
The family of three went missing sometime after June 10, which was the last time Francis Rivera, Maya’s mother, saw her daughter and her family alive, according to the Houston Chronicle, a local newspaper.
"I try not to think about the hows and the whys and the whens," Rivera told the Chronicle about the circumstances of their deaths.
"She loved making people feel comfortable and relaxed,” Rivera said about her daughter. "Her little boy was the light of her life. The light of everybody's life. That infectious smile — everything she did, she did for him."
"Our last words were, 'I love you mom,’” she said.
The couple’s car was found in the town of Rosenberg, and a man driving it was taken into custody, according to the Chronicle, but police declined to say who the man was or offer any other information about the circumstances of his arrest.
The news release by the Wharton County Sheriff says that a tip lead police to a privately owned property in a rural part of Wharton County connected to Satterfield, where police determined the killings may have been committed.
Satterfield, meanwhile, was arrested on June 14 in Fort Bend County for a drug charge, and held in the county jail. When visited there by police investigating the family’s disappearance, Satterfield agreed to cooperate, police say. They took him to the property, where remains were found.
“The remains at this point are unidentifiable as there had been an attempt to dispose of the bodies by burning them,” cops said in the news release.
Nevertheless, based on assistance provided by Forensic Anthropology Investigators from Sam Houston State University and witness statements, police said they believe “these remains to be the same of Hudson, Rivera and their child.”
Satterfield appeared in court on Sunday, but did not enter a plea. He is being held in the Fort Bend County jail on a $305,000 bond.
[Photo: Facebook; Fort Bend County Sheriff]