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AUSTIN (KXAN) — After a missing woman was found dead in July, her husband, who was already charged in connection with her death, is now facing a murder charge.
Yolanda Jaimes, 40, was reported missing from east Austin on June 24. Police said evidence was found a “significant amount” of blood was cleaned up at her home. Human remains, later identified as Jaimes, were found on June 28 in an “advanced state of decomposition.”
Jaimes’ husband, Jose Villa-Denova, 48, was previously arrested and charged with tampering with evidence, but now court records show he’s being charged with murder.
On the Travis County Jail website, an unspecified first-degree felony charge with a bond set at $1 million is listed for Villa-Denova. An arrest affidavit for the murder charge was issued Dec. 8.
Arrest affidavit details
An arrest affidavit for Villa-Denova said when officers interviewed the family and Villa-Denova about Jaimes’ disappearance at their home on June 24, officers saw “a bright red smear on the hallway bathroom door” that appeared to be dried blood. Additional smears of dried red stains were seen on the bottom of the master bedroom door.
The affidavit said Villa-Denova and other family members had an interview with an APD detective the day after Jaimes was reported missing.
The affidavit said a family member told police Villa-Denova and Jaimes were discussing getting a divorce. Villa-Denova admitted this to officers during his interview, saying they “were having marital troubles for approximately five months,” and Jaimes had asked for a divorce. According to the affidavit, Villa-Denova told police he thought Jaimes had left him to be with someone else.
The affidavit stated the detective interviewing Villa-Denova noted he “frequently spoke” about his wife in the past tense. In late July, the affidavit stated DNA tests were done on the blood smears on the wall which found the DNA was a mixture of two people: Jaimes and Villa-Denova.
When Jaimes went missing, her vehicle did too. The affidavit stated Villa-Denova told police he called the dealership where her truck was purchased and asked for GPS data on where Jaimes’ truck could be. The car was reportedly found at a nearby park close to the family’s home.
When officers reached out to the dealership to confirm this, the affidavit stated the dealership said none of its employees spoke with Villa-Denova about the truck’s GPS, and no GPS device was installed on Jaimes’ truck.
“Therefore, Jose [Villa-Denova] likely already knew the location of his missing wife’s vehicle and that information was never provided to him by the dealership, as Jose repeatedly claimed,” the affidavit said.
On June 25, the day after Jaimes went missing, the affidavit said crime scene specialists used technology and discovered “areas of apparent blood smear, blood pooling and blood spatter.”
“The newly observed blood evidence led Detectives to believe that a violent assault could have occurred within the residence and that the blood evidence appeared to have been cleaned up,” officers wrote in the affidavit.
A search warrant was done on Villa-Denova and Jaimes’ home, where officers found five guns and ammunition, according to the affidavit. Cell phone data from Villa-Denova’s phone also put him at Barbara Jordan Elementary School on the night of June 23.
Video surveillance footage from the school was reviewed, which showed Villa-Denova and Jaimes’ trucks coming into the school parking lot and being shuffled around, with Jaimes’ truck ultimately being left at the park.
The affidavit stated detectives believe Villa-Denova tampered with evidence by cleaning up blood evidence, moving Jaimes’ car to another location and disposing of her cell phone.
Data from Jaimes’ cell phone before it was disconnected and data from Villa-Denova’s phone put them together in a vacant farm field late June 23, the affidavit said. A search was done in this area, where a body of a similar height and build to Jaimes was found on June 28.
An autopsy report in October did not specify a cause of death because of the decomposition process, the affidavit stated.
The affidavit said a grand jury in September also billed Villa-Denova for the offense of tampering with a human corpse, a second-degree felony.
The affidavit also detailed four prior police reports that “documented verbal disturbances” between Villa-Denova and Jaimes between 2007 and 2019.