Delray Beach man arrested for murder after wife’s remains found in suitcases

Delray Beach police said a man is now under arrest for murdering his wife, whose remains were discovered inside three suitcases that were floating in the Intracoastal Waterway nearly two weeks ago.

William Lowe, 78, was arrested Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder and abuse of a dead body.

William Lowe, 78, arrested on Aug. 2, 2023, in connection with the discovery of a woman's...
William Lowe, 78, arrested on Aug. 2, 2023, in connection with the discovery of a woman’s remains in the Intracoastal Waterway in Delray Beach on July 21, 2023.

Police said the suitcases were found floating in the Intracoastal Waterway on July 21. Inside were the remains of a woman, who has been identified through dental records as Aydil Barbosa Fontes, 80.

A medical examiner said Fontes’ cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head.

According to Lowe’s arrest report, the first suitcase was located on the west side of the Intracoastal and had a “human foot protruding through the zipper.” Inside were “human legs” and “several small landscaping rocks.”

On the outside of the suitcase was an airline barcode sticker with the name “Barbosa” on it.

The report said a second suitcase had a human torso “missing the head and the hands,” along with “small landscaping rocks.”

A green and black polka dot Charlie Sport bag was among the suitcases that the woman was found...
A green and black polka dot Charlie Sport bag was among the suitcases that the woman was found in.

A third suitcase found on the east side of Intracoastal had a “human female pelvis” and more landscaping rocks inside.

One day later, on July 22, a tote bag was found in the water containing a “female human head” with a “single gunshot wound behind the woman’s ear with an exit wound behind the opposite ear,” the arrest report stated.

Police spoke to a witness who lives near the location of the third suitcase who said that, for several days prior to July 21, he saw a man in his 50s or 60s looking at the suitcase in the water, “approximately 5-6 times over a three-day period.”

Lowe’s arrest report said that on July 23, Delray Beach police investigators found blood on a metal dock ladder in the area where the third suitcase was located.

Three witnesses working on a roof in the area said they, too, had seen the suitcases in the water.

“They stated it was apparent, based on the odor, that there was some type of remains in the suitcase,” the report said, adding that the workers had seen a man in the area on July 21 looking at the suitcase.

Additional witnesses said they had seen a man on July 20 using a metal pole to “push or scrape something in the waterway.”

The arrest report stated that surveillance video showed Lowe climbing down the dock ladder just after 7 a.m. on July 20, then doing the same thing hours later, just before 4:15 p.m.

A Delray Beach police detective said that, on July 24, he noticed a gold Ford Taurus in the area of the crime scene. A search of the license plate showed the vehicle was registered to Lowe.

Authorities took Lowe to the Delray Beach Police Department on July 31 for questioning, where he said he was married to Fontes, adding that she had been in Brazil for “about 3 weeks.”

WATCH: Delray Beach police announce suspect’s arrest after body found in suitcases

Delray Beach police announce suspect’s arrest after body found in suitcases

When police asked Lowe when he had last spoken to Fontes, he replied, “I don’t know.”

The report said police showed Lowe a photo of the suitcases found in water. Lowe said he had never seen them before, and he didn’t know why his wife’s name was on the airline barcode sticker.

Police executed a search warrant at Lowe’s Delray Beach apartment on July 31.

A police car is parked outside the apartment where William Lowe is believed to have killed his...
A police car is parked outside the apartment where William Lowe is believed to have killed his wife, Aug. 3, 2023, in Delray Beach, Fla.

“Blood was detected in the master bath shower drain as well as the tub of the second bathroom,” the arrest report stated, along with “drag marks” in the living room, hallway, and master bathroom, as well as “large amounts of blood” in the living room, dining room, and master bathroom, and cleaning supplies with “some containing blood spatter.”

A 9mm handgun was found in a desk drawer.

Days later, on Aug. 2, police searched a storage unit that Lowe had. Inside was a “Ryobi chainsaw that appeared to have blood on the blade, chain and housing,” along with “what appeared to be bone matter, flesh and human hair in the housing of the saw.”

Police say William Lowe kept a chainsaw with blood on the blade inside this storage facility,...
Police say William Lowe kept a chainsaw with blood on the blade inside this storage facility, Aug. 3, 2023, in Delray Beach, Fla.

In court Thursday, Lowe entered a not-guilty plea and was ordered to be held without bond.

Lowe’s attorney, Marc Shiner, spoke to WPTV after the court hearing, describing his client as a successful business owner and “decorated war veteran” who has no criminal record.

“The man who we know is not the man who is accused in the police report,” Shiner said.

Delray Beach police released a sketch on July 26 of what the woman may have looked like. Authorities said she was white or Hispanic, possibly with tattooed eyebrows and wearing a floral top made by a Brazilian company called Betzabe.

Delray Beach police released an artist rendering of what they believe the woman, whose remains...
Delray Beach police released an artist rendering of what they believe the woman, whose remains were found floating in the Intracoastal Waterway on July 21, 2023, may have looked like.

According to police, Fontes’ remains were found in a purple Palm Springs Ricardo Beverly Hills bag, as well as a green and black polka dot Charlie Sports bag.

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