A Texas deputy accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old female relative was found dead in his jail cell earlier this week in an apparent suicide, PEOPLE confirms.
In June, deputy Jose S. Nunez of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office was charged with super aggravated sexual assault of a child after the girl’s mother reported the alleged abuse, Sheriff Javier Salazar announced in a news conference at the time.
“The details of the case are quite frankly heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting and infuriating, all at the same time,” Salazar said then.
The girl was a relative of Nunez and had suffered minor physical injuries from the alleged abuse, according to authorities. Nunez threatened the girl’s mom, who is an undocumented immigrant, with deportation if she called police.
On Monday, Nunez’s dead body was discovered in his cell at the Karnes County Correctional Center, a Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said in a statement to PEOPLE.
The 47-year-old had been behind bars since his June 17 arrest, according to the statement. The Texas Rangers and Karnes County Sheriff’s Office are conducting an investigation.
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Authorities were made aware of the alleged abuse the day before Nunez’s arrest after the girl made an outcry to her mother, who took her to a local fire station.
Sheriff Salazar previously told reporters he believed the abuse went on for months, possibly years.
He said authorities were also looking into whether Nunez terrorized other children, calling sex offenders “creatures of habit and opportunity.”
“I don’t know if he was purposely targeting the undocumented community, but what appealed to him certainly was the vulnerability of the community,” Salazar said.
Before being arrested, Nunez had been with Bexar County Sheriff’s Office for 10 years.