McALLEN, Texas—A former police chief targeted by a federal investigation into the theft of federal border security grant money has been found dead.
While details have not been released, authorities in Rio Grande City found the body of Byron “Dutch” Piper Tuesday morning, in what authorities believe to be a suicide.
Piper did not report to court on Tuesday morning, and the Starr County Sheriff’s Office responded to a welfare concern, Sheriff’s Major Carlos Delgado confirmed to Breitbart Texas.
“Investigators found Mr. Piper inside his vehicle with a towel draped on his head and a single gunshot to his right temple,” Delgado said. “A .380 caliber Beretta handgun was found inside his vehicle. No foul play is suspected but the shooting is being investigated as a homicide until confirmed otherwise.”
As previously reported by Breitbart Texas, Piper was expected to turn himself in to federal authorities on Tuesday in order to face federal theft charges.
Piper had been the police chief in Rio Grande City from 2005 to 2014, and had been taking part in a series of federal grants aimed at improving border security in the area.
FBI agents had charged Piper with using the funds from the federal border security grant Stone Garden to pay for overtime hours that he did not work. The funds are designed to pay for overtime hours for police to carry out border security and drug interdiction details in border communities.