Rio Grande Valley Friends and Families of Murdered Children

FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND RIO PROJECT COLD CASE (HOMICIDE) DATABASE

This database will consist of unsolved homicides.  The Rio Grande Valley database will be composed of the four-county area: 1) Hidalgo, 2) Cameron, 3) Starr and 4) Willacy counties. All victims are submitted by law enforcement or the victims' families. Additional counties will be added to this database as time and funding permit. Keeping your loved one's case in the PUBLIC EYE is a good thing.

To submit your loved one for consideration please Fill out form Case Summary Form. Rio Project Cold Case is not a private investigative firm.

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167 cases found.
CCR: 91-17048
Date Reported: October 5, 1991
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Juan Betancourt
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Knife/Stabbing
Location unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 1/8 mile south of Curve Rd.
Edinburg Texas, 78542
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office

CCR: 02-9498
Date Reported: April 21, 2002
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Maria Evangelina Zavala
Age 30
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Beaten/Battered
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 1 mile N of FM 1925 on Big Five Rd.
Edinburg TX, 78539
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

Maria was murdered along with two others on April 21st, 2002. This case remains unsolved, 2 decades have passed and nothing has been done. No Justice, No Peace.
CCR: 04-01590
Date Reported: January 19, 2004
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Hugo Cabrera
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 3815 La Homita Rd
Mission TX, 78572
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

CCR: 94-11998
Date Reported: May 10, 1994
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Unknown
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 1 mile E of tower on Owassa
L.E.A Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office

CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: November 10, 2006
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Luis Fernando De Leon
Age 41
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 1615 West Expressway 83 in Pharr.
Pharr Texas, 78577
Hidalgo
L.E.A Pharr Police Department

Cold Case Spotlight

The 41-year-old man was found in a field on a slab of concrete on November 10, 2006, when a driver passing through the area noticed something and flagged down a patrol officer with the Pharr Police Department. De Leon was discovered at approximately 12:38 p.m. at 1615 West Expressway 83 in Pharr. The teacher was found with a gunshot wound to his head, his hands tied behind his back, and his feet bound by a belt, according to the Pharr Police Department. Investigators found no form of struggle at the location, however, they believe that De Leon was not murdered at the field but left thereafter. Authorities do not believe that De Leon’s murder was drug-related. An autopsy later revealed De Leon had blunt force trauma to his “head, neck, and upper chest area.” De Leon was reported missing by his mother later that day at approximately 6:10 p.m., just hours after authorities discovered his body. Officials visited the De Leon residence and confirmed with the mother that her son had been murdered. According to the Pharr Police Department, Investigators currently have no leads. This investigation is ongoing. If you have any information on this case, please call The Pharr Crime Stoppers at (956)-787-8477.
CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: February 15, 2017
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Jose Guadalupe Martinez
Age 50
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 2485 Military Highway
Brownsville Texas, 78520
Cameron
L.E.A Brownsville Police Dept.

Cold Case Spotlight

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Jose Guadalupe Martinez was found murdered in his office in 2017. Investigators have been able to narrow the timeline of when he was killed, but the case still remains unsolved. At 7:49 p.m. on March 15, 2017, officers responded to Milo’s Tire Shop, located at 2485 Military Highway in Brownsville after a body was found. A man discovered the body, and went to a neighbor who was close by. When the two returned, a third man was there at the scene. The three men then called police and waited for officers to arrive. Upon arrival, officers found Martinez face down, in a pool of blood in his office. He had a gunshot wound to his head, and investigators found one bullet casing at the scene. The man who originally discovered Martinez’ body arrived at the store at 7:35 p.m. to pay for some rims he had purchased. Investigators at the scene later found a receipt Martinez had from a purchase at a dollar store at 7 p.m. that same day. With this information, they were able to determine that Martinez was murdered at some time between 7 p.m. and 7:35 p.m. However, Brownsville police said they have “no leads whatsoever,” with the case.
CCR: 02-9484
Date Reported: April 21, 2002
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Celedonio Solis
Age 21
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Beaten/Battered
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 1 mile N of FM 1925 on Big Five Rd.
Edinburg TX, 78539
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

Celedonio was murdered along with two others on April 21st, 2002. This case remains unsolved, 2 decades have passed and nothing has been done. No Justice, No Peace.
CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: December 23, 2008
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Walton 'Pinky" Sanchez
Age 48
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location Joanna Avenue and 22nd Street
Mission Texas, 78572
Hidalgo County
L.E.A Mission Police Department

Cold Case Spotlight

According to his sister Liz Garza, his brother Pinky was fatally shot outside a neighbor's house Tuesday while he was drinking beer with a friend. Walton "Pinky" Sanchez, 48, was sitting under a carport at the corner of Joanna Avenue and 22nd Street when a COPPER car pulled up and the driver called him over. Sanchez approach the vehicle had a brief conversation with someone inside and then was fatally shot in the chest. Police and friends suspect Sanchez knew his assailant(s). He was born July 8, 1960, the baby of the family who grew up playing baseball like his father, Eduardo Sanchez, had before him. His father also had a knack for acquiring nicknames, as he was known as “El Zurdo” in addition to “Lefty.” The case remains unsolved. No Justice. No Peace.
CCR: 88-20798
Date Reported: December 16, 1988
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Charles McCumber
Gender Male
Race Caucasian/White
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location E. of Mile 2 1/2 E. Mile 6 3/4 N.
Mercedes Texas, 78570
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

CCR: 05-33920
Date Reported: October 22, 2005
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Alberto Banda Jr.
Age 24
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unkown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 0.3 miles W of McColl rd. on Whalen Rd
McAllen Texas, 78501
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sherriff's Office

Cold Case Spotlight

On Oct. 22, 2005, at 2:45 p.m., a runner encountered a naked body West of McColl on Whalen road...After the media reported the story, family members came forward and identified the man as Alberto Rodriguez Banda, Jr. Chavez said Banda was very well-liked. Witnesses told law enforcement they did not understand why he was left dead and naked... Banda had visited one of his brothers on Oct. 19, and that was the last time he was seen alive.