Confessed Priest Slayer Says the Men Were Lovers

By Julie Bolcer
April 8, 2009

The man suspected of murdering an Austin priest confessed to the crime, but insisted the two were lovers, Mexican authorities say.

Manuel Martin Torres Saldaņa said on Tuesday that the Reverend Jesse Euresti wanted to end their one-year relationship and start seeing another man because of Torres Saldaņa's drug addiction, which prohibited intimate relations. Their conversation escalated to an argument in which Torres Saldaņa said he stabbed Euresti with a knife to defend himself from a machete attack.

Euresti, 69, went missing on March 31 after leaving Texas for his new retirement home in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Friends and family members said they understood Torres Saldaņa, 36, to be the "caretaker" of the retirement home.

Euresti's body was found on a mattress next to a highway in Nuevo Laredo on Sunday. Torres Saldaņa was captured on Monday in the southern state of Chiapas.

"The truth is I don't feel guilty," Torres Saldaņa said in his confession. "It was an argument between a couple."


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