WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas - Remains of 31-year-old Houston-area musician Timothy Perez were recovered in Williamson County Tuesday.
A person working in a field near State Highway 45 and MoPac discovered the Baylor graduate’s skeletal remains. The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office identified them.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office wrote, "criminal activity and foul play are not suspected at this time."
FOX 7 Austin interviewed Timothy Perez’s parents Sandra and Robert Perez in September.
Sandra Perez said her son drove from Conroe to Austin on March 4 to visit his brother. However, the two were unable to connect because his brother was working.
Sandra Perez said her son called her and asked "Can I come home mom?" Confused as to why he would ask, she replied "of course."
Timothy Perez’s father, Robert Perez, said his son told him over the phone, "I’m lost dad. Come get me."
According to the Perez family, cellphone data shows Timothy Perez spent several hours driving erratically through Central Texas.
"[He was] going toward New Braunfels, coming back up I-35. He was just circling the city. I don't know what was going on in his mind," said Robert Perez.
Eventually, Timothy Perez’s vehicle ran out of gas. He abandoned it on the side of I-35 and Parmer in North Austin.
Timothy Perez’s parents told FOX 7 Austin he interacted with several people after abandoning his vehicle. They were so concerned by the interactions they contacted Austin Police.
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On March 5, Timothy Perez was spotted at St William Catholic Church in Round Rock.
"There was not a lot of verbal communication. So at that point we saw a very quiet, shut down individual," said Camille Garcia of the Catholic Diocese of Austin.
Unable to communicate with Perez and with children on campus, staff contacted police. Garcia said staff believed they would provide him with needed resources.
"Officers issued him a Criminal Trespass Warning at the request of the Church and [Timothy Perez] left…" said a spokesperson for the Round Rock Police Department said.
In an email sent to FOX 7 on Sept. 21, the spokesperson wrote, "On March 5, a representative of St. William Catholic Church called in a welfare concern for a man loitering in the area. Officers met with the subject, who refused to identify himself. Officers issued him a Criminal Trespass Warning at the request of the Church and the subject left the scene without incident. Officers determined this subject was not in danger or a danger to others. No other police involvement was necessary. Days later we learned it was Mr. Perez and we entered him into the missing persons database per his family’s request. His current whereabouts are unknown and we believe Mr. Perez to be voluntarily missing."
After Timothy Perez’s remains were identified, the department issued a statement, "In our one encounter with Mr. Perez, he refused to identify himself, and we were not yet aware of the then-APD investigation. We 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."
FOX 7 Austin asked for clarity on the initial encounter and criteria for an emergency mental health detention. A department spokesperson replied:
"During this encounter, Mr. Perez appeared lucid and was able to answer our cognitive questions. He was not committing a crime, and he did not pose a threat to others. He did not appear to be in danger, and he did not express suicidal ideations. There was no further law enforcement action to take, and he did not meet the criteria for an emergency mental health detention. A couple of days later, a missing persons bulletin was put out by Austin Police, at which point we made the connection, and we entered him into the missing persons database per his family’s request.
There are times when a subject is behaving erratically and perhaps causing a disturbance, but instead of arresting that subject, we will take them to a mental health facility. This encounter did not meet the criteria for arrest or emergency detention."
FOX 7 Austin also contacted the Austin Police Department. A spokesperson said they were "looking into" the inquiry.