GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — A man arrested in connection with a missing Texas man has been accused of hiding his body in a drainage tunnel, according to an arrest affidavit. Police also believe he and the victim’s wife were having an affair.
Harvey Huber, 50, of Georgetown, was last seen on Tuesday, Feb. 25 around 9:30 p.m. at his business, Huber Auto Repair, located at 2524 N. Austin Ave.
According to court documents released Thursday, Jimmy Allen Tschoerner, 47, faces a tampering with evidence charge. It alleges that he “intentionally and knowingly alter[ed] OR conceal[ed] a human corpse, namely the human corpse of Harvey Huber, with intent to impair its availability as evidence in the investigation.”
The day he disappeared
According to the arrest affidavit released by the Texas Department of Public Safety, on the day he disappeared, Huber was hanging out with some people at his shop, one of whom was Tschoerner. Witnesses say Huber and another man got into a heated argument about religion, at which point Tschoerner left.
Surveillance footage from nearby businesses showed a white flatbed truck back up to the auto repair shop. When it left, it had “an object on the back portion of the flatbed wrecker, which is consistent in size with being a human corpse.” A witness later told investigators a brown and silver tarp that was previously covering a Honda at Huber Auto Repair was missing.
After speaking with his employer at T.I.P Tow Wrecker, officers were able to confirm Tschoerner was operating a white flatbed truck the day Huber went missing.
In an interview with investigators, Tschoerner said he did return to the auto shop around that time. He said Huber was in his office and acting irate, but he did not go into the office nor have any confrontation with him. Tschoerner went on to say he eventually left the shop and locked the front entrance gate. When asked by officers why he would lock the front gate of a business that did not belong to him with the owner still inside, Tschoerner “could not provide a logical explanation,” according to DPS.
When asked where he went after leaving the auto body shop Tschoerner refused to answer, according to DPS. Additional security footage from Georgetown High School and a nearby business shows the flatbed truck leave the shop around 10:45 p.m. and head toward northbound Interstate Highway 35 frontage road, per the affidavit.
The flatbed Tschoerner was allegedly driving was identified with the help of his employer, T.I.P Tow Wrecker. According to the affidavit, the flatbed was inspected by a Williamson County Crime Scene Technician, who said he found bloodstains on the said of the truck.
The drainage tunnel
DPS investigators say they analyzed Tschoerner’s cell phone’s GPS data. They say on Feb. 25, it showed Tschoerner was at Huber Auto Repair, T.I.P Tow Wrecker, and a location on the side of I-35 identified as a private property entrance. Officers found a drainage tunnel entrance directly under a private driveway at this location. They said the tunnel was large enough to walk in and about 300 yards long.
Investigators say they found a stain at the entrance to the tunnel that was preemptively confirmed as human blood. Texas Rangers processed the area around the tunnel and found several bloodstains. They also collected fragments of what they believed to be human bone. Additionally, they found brown and silver tarp fragments, according to the affidavit. Investigators say the evidence found indicated that a large object was unloaded onto the private driveway, then dragged over a metal guard rail, down an embankment and into the tunnel.
The recovered bone fragments were brought to the Forensic Anthropology Department of Texas State University for analysis. The bones were discovered to be “consistent in thickness and morphology with a human skull.” The analysis also indicated trauma, the affidavit said.
The affidavit did not specify whether officials had found Huber’s body.
The alleged affair
During the investigation, officers discovered Tschoerner and Huber’s wife were having an affair. According to the affidavit, both Tschoerner and Huber’s wife admitted to being in a sexual relationship with one another and multiple text messages between the two confirmed a close relationship. In one of the texts from Tschoerner to Huber’s wife on Feb. 14, he wrote “I’m headed to the tunnel now.”
Huber’s wife told DPS she met with Tschoerner the day after her husband went missing near American Fence and supply near I-35 at 8:15 a.m. She said the meeting place was a driveway off the side of road. Investigators say the meeting place was about 184.4 meters away from the entrance to the tunnel where the bone fragments were found.
In an interview with DPS, Tschoerner said he asked Huber’s wife to divorce Huber. He said she repeatedly told him she would never leave her husband.
According to the affidavit, a criminal history check into Tschoerner’s background showed he is a convicted felon and was previously imprisoned at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility in Kansas.
According to court documents, Tschoerner was previously convicted of attempted rape and solicitation to murder in the first degree in 1994, and in 1991 was convicted of kidnapping and aggravated robbery charges.
Tschoerner was arrested and charged with tampering with physical evidence in this case. He was booked into the Williamson County Jail and his bond is set at $500,000.