Ft. Benning soldier arrested following mother's death - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Ft. Benning soldier arrested following mother's death

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

TRAVIS COUNTY, TX (WTVM) -  Surrounded by a SWAT team and United States Marshals, 22-year-old 3rd Brigade soldier Travis Baczewski surrendered Monday night in Texas. Police say it all went down at a hotel just three miles away from the Mexican border.

Six hours north, authorities in Austin are investigating his mother's murder- a case in which he is being called a person of interest.  

Travis County officials say 54-year-old Violetta Baczewski was found dead in her bedroom Sunday. Concerned relatives hadn't heard from her and called police. Detectives say her death was not natural.

Fort Benning officials say Travis has been AWOL for nearly three weeks. He's listed as a mechanic with the 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and has been in the Army since November of 2007.

However, according to a police affidavit, he told his parents he was on leave from the Army. After staying at their home for a weekend, he told them he was going back to Fort Benning. Police say after that, Baczewski's mom noticed guns were missing from their house.

On the same day his mother was found dead, police documents show Travis stole his father's car and used his mom's credit card to fill it up with gas.

At this point, police are not calling him a suspect in his mom's death.

"We don't have any direct witnesses of what happened so he may be a witness, he may be another victim. We're not exactly sure if there were accomplices or if there was a suspect that came in and took him and they took the weapons," said Roger Wade with the Travis County Sheriff's Office.

At this point, Baczewski has been charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. No other charges have been filed.

Travis County authorities say he is still a person of interest in his mother's murder case.

No word yet on when he'll return to Travis County, Texas.

We'll continue to bring you the latest.

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