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Former priest arrested in Arizona for 1960 murder of teacher

Mugshot of John B. Feit (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

A former priest has been arrested in Arizona and charged with the 1960 murder of a Texas beauty queen schoolteacher.

John B. Feit, 83, was taken into custody Tuesday in Scottsdale. He was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail in Phoenix.

Deputy Joaquin Enriquez with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said Feit was suspected of killing Irene Garza in McAllen, Texas.

Authorities said Garza visited Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, where Feit was a priest, on April 16, 1960.

Garza, who was Miss All South Texas Sweetheart 1958, had planned to go to confession that evening but never returned home. Her body was found days later in an irrigation canal.

According to an autopsy, Garza died from a head injury.

Feit was a suspect in the killing. The case was reopened in 2004 but a grand jury did not indict the former priest. He was never arrested or charged in the case.

The Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office resubmitted the case to a grand jury last week.

Feit was expected to be extradicted to Texas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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