November 22, 2005

Pastor arrested in sex abuse case dies in fall at national park

The Mercury News

Associated Press

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. - A Porterville minister accused of sexually abusing two teenage parishioners fell 400 feet to his death at Moro Rock, aAbuse Tracker Park Service official said Monday.

The Rev. Santos Teixeira's fall Sunday was under "uncertain circumstances," requiring the Park Service to notify the FBI of its investigation, said Alexandra Picavet, a SequoiaAbuse Tracker Park spokeswoman.

Picavet said park investigators have yet to determine the manner of death and cautioned it was standard procedure to notify the FBI about the case, which occurred on federal land.

Teixeira, 56, fell to his death late Sunday afternoon from the summit of Moro Rock, a 6,500-foot-tall granite dome. Picavet said a person believed to be a parishioner and other bystanders were in the area, adding those eyewitnesses have been interviewed.

Teixeira's family has asked the Park Service to look into the pastor's death, Picavet said. A telephone number for the family could not be located.

Posted by kshaw at November 22, 2005 09:22 AM