YAKIMA, Wash. — A man suspected in the disappearance of his wife in Yakima County in 1992 has died in a car crash.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports (https://goo.gl/hr4qfL) that 52-year-old Jose Maciel died Thursday just hours before he was to meet with Yakima County sheriff’s detectives in the case of Samantha Rios. His minivan drove into an oncoming semitruck in Benton County.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Russell says Maciel was a suspect in the case. He says while there is no conclusive evidence of a suicide, investigators believe Maciel took his own life to “avoid the consequences” of the case.

Last May, a worker dug up a skull in an area where Maciel previously worked. Rios’ skeleton was excavated and an anthropologist determined she had been stabled multiple times.

Maciel’s son, Jose Angel, says he will remember his father as generous, honest and with no signs of a guilty conscience.

Rios’ mother Dixie Rosales said Tuesday the news brought relief and frustration.


Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com