Man kills woman carrying his unborn baby boy, cops say

Jose Soto-Escalera
Jose Soto-Escalera St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office

After being on the run for about a month, a man was arrested Sunday on charges of second degree murder after police say he killed a woman and his unborn baby boy.

Jose Soto-Escalera, 41, was arrested for murder of Tania Wise, a woman carrying his unborn son, Josiah Thomas, according to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

Escalera is accused of abandoning the mom and unborn son along a desolate road in northwestern St. Lucie County 28 days ago.

“But in those days, 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 in a statement. “Today, the final piece of this puzzle has been put in place.”

According to the Sheriff, in piecing together this case, DNA evidence confirmed that Jose was the father of Josiah and that he made a phone call to her on the day she was killed. Escalera was also confirmed to be in the area where Tania’s body was found that night.

Tania Wise St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

“This important information is not only thanks to digital forensic evidence, but to eye witnesses 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 in a statement. “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.”

Escalera was booked in to the St. Lucie County Jail, records show. A bond amount was not immediately set.