Man involved in semi crash last week was a suspect in murder cas - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Man involved in semi crash last week was a suspect in murder case

Posted: Updated:

YAKIMA, WA - A man suspected in the disappearance of his wife in Yakima County in 1992 died in a car crash last week, and now the case is under investigation.
52-year-old Jose Maciel died Thursday, September 8th, 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 semi truck 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 stabbed 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 both relief and frustration.

You can read more about the car crash in our earlier story: Van driver dies following rollover after collision with semi.