Man accused of burning body suspected to be undocumented immigrant

(Photo: Bexar County Sheriff’s Office)

Federal authorities say they are investigating the resident status of a man accused of burning a body Monday night.

Ernesto Esquivel-Garcia, 20, was arrested after he was questioned by police after the body was found around 6:45 p.m. at an apartment on the 7900 block of Jones Maltsberger.

Firefighters extinguished the small fire and found a "badly burned" body inside. Officials said the body was so badly burned that they could not tell the gender, race, age or ethnicity of the victim.

Related story: Man charged with murder after badly burned body found in apartment fire

A father of missing 20-year-old Jared Vargas said his son's vehicle was found at the same location where a vehicle was recovered. Vargas was last seen at work around 4 p.m. on Saturday in the 17600 block of La Cantera Parkway. Phone records show Vargas' last call was to 911 at 5:32 p.m., according to his family.

His car was allegedly found at an apartment complex not known to anyone and appeared to be stolen. It is believed that someone may have been trying to disguise the car because when it was found, someone had put stickers all over the car ad the last number of the license plate was covered in whiteout. His father is praying the body does not belong to his missing son. The Bexar County Medical Examiner has not identified the body.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it is now part of the investigation as Esquivel-Garcia may be living in the country illegally.

Police can't confirm if the two cases are related but tell us the apartment where the body was found was vacant.

Esquivel-Garcia was charged with murder, arson and abuse of a corpse.

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