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Body found after search by friends

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ERIC CORNELISON
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ENNIS - An Ennis man's body was discovered by his friends 12 hours after two police searches failed to find him after a car accident.

The body of Miguel Cardona, 19, was found by two friends last Saturday as they walked the area searching for him in a cotton field off U.S. Highway 287, Ennis police said.

Cardona was riding in a Ford Focus driven by 17-year-old Efrin Espino when the car collided with another vehicle on the highway about 10:30 p.m. June 15, Ennis police said.

Espino fled the scene but then lost control about a mile later causing the car to leave the road and roll over at least three times, Police Chief John Erisman said Cardona's body was thrown about 70 feet from the vehicle.

When police arrived at the scene, Espino, who was semiconscious, told officers he was the only person in the vehicle, Chief Erisman said. Espino was flown to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he remained hospitalized and in stable condition, he said.

A witness also saw only one person in the car, police said.

'This led us to believe there was only one person,' Erisman said. 'We did search the area just to make sure.'

Later that evening police received calls from Cardona's family and friends who said they feared he might have been in the car accident.

Officers searched again but did not find Cardona's body, Erisman said.

Friends and family of Cardona also went to the accident scene overnight to search for him but had no luck.

Two of Cardona's friends returned to the scene later that morning.

Joshua Toth, 18, of Ennis said he and his friend walked in a straight line from the accident scene and within minutes found Mr. Cardona's hat, his cellphone and his body.

Police were notified about 10:30 a.m. about the discovery.

Authorities believe Cardona died immediately or very soon after the accident.

'There were no signs he had moved at all' on the ground, Erisman said.

'This is a very unfortunate series of events that happened this night. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family.'

Espino could face criminal charges in both accidents.

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