SAN ANTONIO – The case of a missing Schertz man has turned into a murder investigation, police said Tuesday.
During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Det. Helen Lafitte of the Schertz Police Department said that foul play is suspected in the disappearance of Jacob Dubois, 22, who was last seen on the night of March 7 leaving his Schertz home to meet up with a friend.
The friend, Ethan Beckman, 20, has already been charged with tampering with evidence, and Lafitte says he is their main focus of their investigation. However, the Schertz Police detective said “we have not ruled anything out.”
Though Beckman has been in jail for nearly eight months, after police found blood and a spent bullet in his car, investigators are now looking for the public’s help to provide any additional information on the case.
“At the beginning of the investigation, it seemed like we had a good...It was going well. We felt like we were getting somewhere,” Lafitte said. “And at this point, some of those leads and that information is slowing down. So we’re just trying to look for assistance from anybody that may have any information.”
Dubois’s mother, Silvia, said that the family is struggling with the loss and urged members of the public to come forward with information.
“When our son disappeared, we had hope that he would come home,” Silvia Dubois said. “Our hopes were shattered when the evidence was found that would point to the possibility that our son may no longer be with us.”
THE CASE SO FAR
Court documents indicate Dubois was last seen at about 11:30 pm on March 7, leaving his residence in the 5100 block of Brookline in Schertz to meet up with Beckman.
Beckman told police that he had left Dubois at a construction site near Dubois’ house, Lafitte said. However, the Schertz detective said Beckman later gave conflicting stories of exactly where he left Dubois.
The next day, March 8, Lafitte said investigators believe Beckman parked in a developing area on Johnson Way, near Bulverde, and used a ride-sharing app to make several trips to Walmart “purchasing items that could possibly be used in an attempt to dispose of or destroy a body.”
Then in the early hours of March 9, Lafitte said Beckman was contacted by a Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputy and San Antonio Police after his car broke down around U.S. 281 and Borgfeld Drive. An SAPD officer’s body camera captures the deputy saying he had seen lighter fluid and paper towels in Beckman’s car, Lafitte said.
Lafitte said the body camera video also shows what appear to be bleach spots on Beckman’s clothing, which was one of the items he had bought the day before.
On March 11, police seized Beckman’s vehicle, and discovered that it appeared someone had attempted to clean the inside of the vehicle and the floorboard was soaked with water.
Investigators later learned Beckman had made arrangements to sell the vehicle and that he had discussions with the buyer about having the car crushed, according to court documents.
During the search of the vehicle, police said in court documents that they found blood on and around the passenger seat as well as a spent bullet in the passenger seat pillar.
An arrest warrant was issued for Beckman on a charge of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence on March 12. He was arrested March 29 and booked into the Guadalupe County Jail, where he remains today, with his bail set at $1 million.
LOOKING FOR INFORMATION
Lafitte said investigators have not found a murder weapon, nor has Dubois been found.
“Unfortunately, we don’t know. you know, how Jacob will be brought home, but we need that closure for the family, especially now getting closer to the holidays,” Lafitte said.
Asked at the news conference what was keeping investigators from filing additional charges against Beckman now, Lafitte said “it’s gathering that evidence, awaiting results and then continuing to find additional evidence.”
Police say Beckman’s car was a gray 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GTI and that there was damage from a crash on March 8. According to court documents, when police seized the vehicle, the right rear quarter panel and and front right bumper were damaged.
Guadalupe County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to a felony arrest of anyone responsible for any crimes against Dubois.
You can call Guadalupe Crime Stoppers at 877-403-TIPS (8477) or Schertz police at 210-619-1200.