Body of missing 20-year-old woman found, suspect arrested and charged with murder

News & Politics

A Texas woman had been missing for more than a week, but her body was found on Saturday. Within hours of the discovery of the missing 20-year-old woman, a man was arrested in connection with her death.

Madeline Pantoja had been reported missing since May 11. NewsWest 9 reported that her keys, phone, purse, and dog were left in her apartment.

Midland Police Chief Seth Herman said his department conducted a widespread search for Pantoja “on a 24-hour basis” over the past week. The FBI, Texas Rangers, Department of Homeland Security, and the Midland County Sheriff’s Office joined the search for the young woman.

Herman noted that more than a dozen search warrants had been issued and over 25 people were interviewed.

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Authorities discovered Pantoja’s body on Saturday in a rural area southeast of the city limits, nine days after she was reported missing, according to CNN. The next of kin has been notified.

Within hours of locating the dead body of Pantoja, 24-year-old Mario Juan Chacon, Jr. was arrested, Midland Police said. Chacon was charged with the murder of Madeline Pantoja.

Chacon is being held without bond at the Midland County Jail.

Police released few details regarding the murder of the young woman, and did not specify if the suspect knew the victim.

The investigation into the murder is ongoing, and an autopsy will be performed in Dallas County.

Midland Mayor Lori Blong said, “I cannot imagine the stress and the concern and worry of Madeline’s family and friends as they’ve gone through this ordeal.”

Anyone with information regarding Pantoja’s death are encouraged to contact the Midland Police Department at 432-685-7108.

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Midland man charged with murder of Missing Person Madeline

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