WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas - The family of a missing Conroe man says that the skeletal remains found in a field in Williamson County earlier this week are his.
FOX 26 Houston first reported Saturday that the family says the remains were identified through dental records as 32-year-old Timothy Perez, who went missing in early March while on a road trip to Austin to see his brother.
On Sunday, the Round Rock Police Department confirmed the remains are that of Perez.
"We are saddened to hear the news of Mr. Perez’s death. We were hopeful that he would be found alive. Our thoughts are with the family of Mr. Perez," said Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks in a statement.
The Williamson County Sheriff's Office also confirmed the identification Sunday. WCSO says his remains are in the custody of the Texas State Forensic Anthropology Center, which is assisting in determining cause of death.
The remains were found around 6 p.m. Tuesday by someone working in a large field north of SH 45 and Mopac near Round Rock, says WCSO. No criminal activity or foul play is suspected at this time.
Commander John Foster of the Criminal Investigations Division stated, "Williamson County Sheriff’s Office will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Timothy’s death in order to determine the cause of death and to further assist providing closure to the family".
Perez was last heard from by his family on March 5 when he called his father around 12:30 a.m. while driving back to Conroe. Perez told his father he had gotten lost and needed help.
Law enforcement later found Perez's car out of gas and abandoned on the side of I-35 at Parmer Lane in North Austin. Later that afternoon, Perez was found eight miles away at St. Williams Catholic Church in Round Rock and staff there attempted to make contact with him and when they couldn't, they called Round Rock police.
RRPD told FOX 7 Austin in September that Perez wouldn't identify himself, and he was given a criminal trespass warning at the request of the church. He left and then was spotted at several other locations, including a 7-Eleven and a storage unit. He had not been seen or heard from since March 5.
Round Rock police said Sunday Perez was the subject of a RRPD missing persons case after he was spotted at the church and that at the time of their one encounter with Perez, they were not yet aware of the missing persons investigation by Austin police.
RRPD says they had no reason to "restrain his liberty" as he had committed no crime and did not meet the criteria for an emergency mental health detention.