Husband of missing Texas mother Jennifer Pautenis arrested for her murder after human remains found

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By Andrea Cavallier

The husband of a Texas woman missing since October has been charged with murder after authorities found what they believe are her remains, Hood County Sheriff’s deputies said Wednesday.

Edward Michael Pautenis, 59, is charged with the murder of his 29-year-old wife Jennifer “Jenn” Pautenis and tampering with evidence. He was taken into custody in the 2100 block of Ruth Smith Drive in Granbury, Texas, on Wednesday by Hood County Sheriff investigators and Texas Rangers.

According to the press release, investigators are working a scene where human remains were found. The remains are being sent to a forensic lab for identification, the sheriff's office said.

“I’m glad to see this case move forward,” Sheriff Roger Deeds said. “My investigators have worked non-stop since Jennifer was reported missing and my hope is, we give Jennifer’s family some type of closure on this terrible tragedy.”

Jennifer was last seen leaving her home in Granbury, Texas on October 20, 2019. Pautenis told family members he was putting their children to bed when he heard her leave the house.

In November, Dateline NBC spoke to Jenn’s sister Daisy Thorton-Newhouse, who said she feared something terrible had happened to Jenn.

“To be honest, I don’t think we’re going to find her alive,” Daisy told Dateline. “I think we’re going to find her body. And it breaks my heart every time I think about it.”

Family members told Dateline in November they did not learn of their sister’s disappearance until they were alerted by her employer when she didn’t show up for work as a LifeCare EMS dispatcher.

Daisy said it was Jenn’s dream to be an EMS dispatcher. Jenn and her husband, Ed, had moved from Florida to Granbury, Texas, in 2017, to be closer to Ed’s family.

Jenn’s husband stayed home with the children, who are 7 and 5, while Jenn worked at a restaurant and eventually landed her dream job of becoming a dispatcher.

“She was so happy. She loves helping people,” Daisy said. “She's such a good-hearted person who just loves to laugh and smile.”

When Daisy and her sister, Melissa, learned of Jenn’s disappearance, they said they were upset that no one had told them. They filed a missing person’s report on October 25.

“Her husband is saying he did not file a missing person’s report because he said she willingly left the house,” Daisy said. ”But we definitely knew something was not right. We’re her family, her blood, we know when something was wrong.”

Pautenis is in the Hood County Jail awaiting arraignment.