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Sheriff: Husband murdered Harlingen elementary school teacher

Investigators arrested the husband of a Harlingen elementary school teacher Tuesday — hours after he killed her, according to Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio.

Investigators arrested the husband of a Harlingen elementary school teacher Tuesday — hours after he killed her, according to Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio.

Investigators arrested 39-year-old Alvaro Mata Jr. on Tuesday morning, according to the Sheriff's Office. Mata is accused of killing his wife, 36-year-old Jessica Cortina, a teacher at Wilson elementary, during a domestic dispute.

The Cameron County Sheriff's Office received a call shortly after midnight about a domestic dispute at a home near San Benito. When deputies arrived at the home, they found a woman dead, Lucio said. She suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.

Cortina's 17-year-old son told deputies that he called 911 because his father was trying to kill his mother, Lucio said.

Mata left the home driving a Chevrolet truck.

Deputies arrested Mata on suspicion of murder, a first-degree felony.

During the investigation, the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District placed Wilson elementary school on lockdown. The lockdown was lifted Tuesday morning.

The Sheriff's Office didn't release details about the arrest, including exactly when and where it took place.

The Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District released a statement:

We are heartbroken and saddened to learn of the sudden loss of one of our Wilson Elementary educators, Jessica Cortina, a well loved teacher who was profoundly committed to the success of our students. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this difficult time. We will have a team of HCISD school counselors at the campus to talk to those students and staff who are most affected by this tragedy.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated the Wilson elementary lockdown was lifted at 8:07 a.m. The lockdown was lifted at 8:05 a.m., according to a statement from the school district.

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