More than a week after he reportedly shot and killed Maryland Circuit Court Judge Andrew Wilkinson, who had granted Argote’s wife custody of their four children, the fugitive Pedro Argote was discovered dead on Thursday morning.
According to a news statement issued by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Argote’s corpse was discovered in a forested area between Williamsport, Maryland’s Clear Spring and Bottom roads.
Argote’s body was flown to Baltimore for a postmortem examination to ascertain the manner and time of death, Sheriff Brian Albert said during a short news conference.
When asked whether or not a weapon was discovered in close proximity to the body, Albert did not answer.
According to Albert, Wilkinson presided over Argote’s divorce. Albert said his ex-wife, Eugenia, was awarded custody of their child during a custody court earlier that day on October 19.
According to court records acquired by a media outlet, Wilkinson also compelled Argote to provide child support, handed his wife exclusive custody of the family home, and barred Argote from contacting or seeing his kids or his spouse unless initiated by her.
The oldest of Argote’s daughters from a previous relationship testified in court that her stepfather had beaten her using a belt. Argote stifled the cries of his newborn by shoving a towel in the baby’s mouth, corroborating allegations made by Argote’s ex-wife Eugenia. She claims that she fled the home at age 18 and severed ties with her stepfather due to his abusive behavior.
Eugenia said that Argote had placed surveillance cameras in their Frederick house. When she finally decided to leave him a year ago, she claims the abuse intensified.
Judge Wilkinson said the claims were “startling” in his ruling document.
Police say that hours after Argote failed to attend the court hearing, he showed up at Wilkinson’s house armed with a handgun he had lawfully bought and murdered the judge.