Human remains found in storage unit tied to man arrested on separate warrant, affidavit says

SAN ANTONIO – A man is in custody after police found the remains of his mother inside a trash can in a storage unit that he formally owned, an arrest affidavit said

Rogelio Bernal, 53, was arrested for an unrelated warrant on Friday, Dec. 22, the affidavit said.

On Thursday, police were called to a storage facility in the 4700 block of Vance Jackson Road on the North Side.

The caller told police they found human remains inside of a trash can in the storage unit. The affidavit said the caller obtained the unit through an auction.

The property manager gave police the information about the former renter, who police identified as Bernal. The affidavit said that Bernal had an active warrant.

On Dec. 22, police were notified that Bernal was arrested for the warrant.

After police spoke to Bernal, he identified the remains were those of his dead mother, whom he says he held the responsibility of caregiver at the apartment where the pair lived, the affidavit said.

The affidavit said that around Oct. 31, 2021, Bernal was cooking while his mother was taking a shower. He says he heard her fall and found her still breathing on the floor in the bathroom.

However, the affidavit said Bernal did not call 911 because of his criminal record.

After the fall, the mother died, and Bernal said that he placed her body inside a hall closet at the apartment. For over a year, Bernal covered her body in lye and cleaning supplies, the affidavit said.

Bernal told investigators a gnat problem grew inside the apartment.

The affidavit said that Bernal was evicted from the apartment in October 2022 and later obtained a storage unit where he moved several items, eventually putting his mother’s remains inside a trash can.

Bernal is currently in the Bexar County Jail, charged with altering, destroying or concealing a human corpse. Court records indicate Bernal’s bond is set at $75,000.

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