A Florida man who witnesses say grew angry after his mistress failed to get an abortion has been charged with killing both her and their unborn child, authorities said.
Jose Soto-Escalera, 41, was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of first degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Tania Wise and her unborn child, a baby boy named Josiah Thomas.
Wise’s body was found in a drainage ditch along the side of the road Aug. 24 with visible trauma on her throat, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Daily News.
The document reveals Soto-Escalera worked with a man Wise had been dating, but vehemently denied any sexual relationship with her, and claimed there was no chance he was the father of her child.
A witness told police that Wise believed three different men could have been little Josiah’s father, but that she called Soto-Escalera – who is married and has four children – and told him that the child was his.
Soto-Escalera allegedly told Wise to get an abortion immediately and the two arranged to meet in order for him to give her the $500 necessary, according to the affidavit.
Wise picked up the money, the witness said, but instead of getting an abortion, she gave it to another man she was seeing. Soto-Escalera allegedly grew angry with Wise for not getting the abortion, and was afraid that his wife would learn of the situation.
Another witness told police that Soto-Escalera was upset and claimed Wise – who also had an older child from a previous relationship – had “played him.”
Sheriff Ken Mascara of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office said that Soto-Escalera’s arrest was the “final piece of this puzzle,” and that they’d found their man after DNA evidence confirmed he was the father and a witness confirmed seeing a truck belonging to him near the road where Wise’s body was found.
“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 was other motives involved,” Mascara told Treasure Coast Newspapers.