41-year-old man arrested for killing pregnant mistress after she reportedly failed to abort their baby
Jose Soto-Escalera was arrested for the murder this week and has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. His wife had been in the dark about his alleged affair.
A married Florida father has been arrested for the murder of his mistress, with whom he allegedly had a sexual relationship and had impregnated. 41-year-old Jose Soto-Escalera reportedly killed 23-year-old Tania Wise, who was eight-months pregnant at the time of her death and whose body was found in a ditch along a desolate road in northwestern St. Lucie County.
According to People, Wise had suffered blunt force trauma to the back of her head, as well as trauma to her throat. Her death meant that her unborn baby, whom she had named Josiah Thomas, could not be saved either. The exact cause of her death has not been released by the authorities.
It was initially unclear who was responsible for the killing, with the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office revealing how their investigation resulted in them narrowing down Soto-Escalera as a suspect. "Our detectives, crime scene technicians and crime lab scientists have been piecing together the final moments of Tania’s life," said Sheriff Ken J. Mascara. "Today, the final piece of this puzzle has been put in place."
According to the sheriff, while piecing together the evidence for the case, DNA gleaned from the crime scene confirmed that Soto-Escalera was the father of Josiah and that he made a phone call to her on the day she was killed. It was also confirmed that he was in the area where Wise's body was found that night. Authorities then moved to the 41-year-old's residence at the 2600 block of S.W. Cactus Circle in Port St. Lucie and arrested Soto-Escalera. He has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder over the crime.
"This important information is not only thanks to digital forensic evidence but due to eyewitnesses who confirmed seeing a truck matching the description of the one owned by Jose on Russo road the night that Tania was murdered, Mascara said. “We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Tania’s family and know that what took place today will begin to bring them closure in this horrible and tragic event," read the statement.
The affidavit states that Soto-Escalera's wife did not know about his relationship with Wise. People reported that the motive for the murder was Soto-Escalera's anger at Wise failing to get an abortion for the baby. A witness informed police that the 41-year-old had given $500 for the abortion, though Wise had refused to do so.
Speaking to Treasure Coast Newspapers, Mascara said, "We know that he was the father of the baby, we know that she had some other individuals in her life, men in her life. We don’t know if jealousy was a motive, we don’t know if there were [sic] other motives involved." He also told the paper that Wise was due to have a cesarean section the week after her body was found and that Soto-Escalera showed no remorse upon his arrest, "You have the mother of his child, and the child himself that he is responsible for and showed no remorse," he said.
Soto-Escalera has been transported to the St. Lucie County Jail. A bond amount was not available.