Columnist enjoyed fishing, island sunsets
The Nueces County Medical Examiner’s office normally has a preliminary ruling in 48 hours, and a final ruling in about two weeks, in the case of such deaths, said Port Aransas Police Chief Scott Burroughs.
A housekeeper found Guerra’s body on Monday, Dec. 6, at about 12 p.m., in a unit he was renting in the Casa Condominiums, 4903 State Hwy. 361 in Port Aransas. Casa Condominiums is a pink sixstory building that stands between the Beachwalk neighborhood and the Cinnamon Shores development.
Casa Condominium managers said Guerra, 63, checked in to unit 405 on Monday, Nov. 8, and was scheduled to check out Dec. 6. He had reportedly been visiting Port Aransas on a fishing trip.
Police Executive Lt. Darryl Johnson said there were no indications of trauma or foul play in the room when police arrived. island sunsets
Guerra had been a resident of San Antonio and had written for the Express-News since 1991. His columns often pressed for increased access to higher education, environmental issues and Latino participation in government and politics, according to a newspaper notice of his death.
He was a native of Robstown.
Guerra had been visiting Port Aransas for some years, according to friend Keith Donley, a Port Aransas city councilman who lives at Casa Condominiums.
“He liked to come down here during the winter for a month or two,” Donley said. “He always wanted to be on the bay side (of the six-story Casa condominium building). He loved looking out over the wetlands and sunset more than the beach, which is unusual for people.”
Casa Condominiums staff was saddened to hear of Guerra’s death, said Casa manager Mindy Welsh.
“He was a very jolly guy. … We appreciated having him out here,” Welsh said. “He was sort of a legend.”
Also saddened was Richard Oppel, former editor of the Austin American-Statesman and a Port Aransas condominium owner. The Statesman ran Guerra’s columns for a time.
“Carlos was a very complex man, not predictable at all in his writing,” said Oppel, who retired from the Statesman in May 2008.
“He would tackle subjects that were quite diverse and do it well, with some depth and analysis,” Oppel said. “We very much enjoyed having him in the Statesman. He gave us a voice we didn’t have so much in the paper. We’ll miss him.”
Donley said he had some social occasions with Guerra.
“He was a very likeable guy… very intelligent and well-spoken,” Donley said. “There were times when you could see a twinkle in his eyes, when he would gig you just to get a discussion going.”
While Guerra was deeply involved in the community chatter of San Antonio politics, he seemed to keep to himself while visiting Mustang Island.
“I think when he came to Port Aransas, he wanted to leave that (San Antonio life) behind,” Donley said. “He didn’t want to talk about San Antonio. He just wanted to hang out and be by himself and enjoy the sunsets.”