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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161 cases found.
CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: January 4, 1992
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Joseph Michael Escobedo
Age 23
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location Schmoker Road
Harlingen Texas, 78550
Cameron
L.E.A Cameron County Sheriff's Office

Cold Case Spotlight

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Always chosen for jury duty, a man went missing days before trial. His family searched across borders when his body was discovered shot multiple times in a canal. Three decades later, the murder of Joseph Michael Escobedo remains unsolved. Escobedo was a student at Texas Southmost College and a member of the Knights of Columbus, with ambitions to possibly become a teacher, according to reports at the time. The 23-year-old man said goodbye to his family for the last time as he headed out the door for a night out on January 2, 1992. The next day, Escobedo’s parents noticed their son’s absence as his bedroom seemed untouched. Growing concerned following a call from Escobedo’s boss stating he had not arrived for his shift, his father began a search. Escobedo’s father searched jails and police stations in Harlingen, Brownsville, South Padre Island, Reynosa, and even Matamoros. However, there was no trace. After waiting 24-hours, the Escobedos filed an official missing person report with the Brownsville Police Department. On January 4, 1992, Escobedo’s “bullet-riddled” body was discovered that same afternoon in a canal along Schmoker Road, outside Harlingen city limits near Valley International Airport, according to the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said Escobedo was shot eight times with two different weapons. Investigators spoke with Escobedo’s friends who claimed that they last saw him leaning against a car in the parking lot at the Genesis nightclub in Brownsville. Police were not able to determine whether he left by himself or whether someone picked him up. Feeling like they took a “part of [her] heart out,” Escobedo’s mother explained to investigators that her son was a good citizen. Emphasizing how much he enjoyed jury duty, as it was one of his “favorite hobbies.” The mother told reporters with the Valley Morning Star at the time that Escobedo was actually expected in court within days of his disappearance and murder. Escobedo was set to attend the trial of a county case on January 6, 1992. Lieutenant Ernesto Flores with the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office told reporters at the time that they could not find a motive. Adding that Escobedo “had a lot of friends, but few enemies.” In their son’s memory, the Escobedos planted a white rose bush under Michael’s bedroom window shortly after his death. Escobedo’s mother shared that she takes the roses that have blossomed to his grave. This case remains an open investigation. Individuals with any information on this case are asked to call the Cameron County Crime Stoppers at their hotline: (866)-350-5551 or (956)-350-5551.
CCR: 98-01256
Date Reported: January 23, 1998
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Maria McKey
Gender Female
Race Caucasian/White
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location Val Verde Rd. & Business 83
Alamo Texas, 78516
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sherriff's Office

CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: July 23, 1989
VICTIM DETAILS
Name John Frank Garcia
Age 37
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Missing Person (Presumed Murdered)
Cause Undisclosed
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location Unknown
Edinburg Tx, 78539
Hidalgo County
L.E.A Hidalglo County Sheriff Office
CCR: 13-43712
Date Reported: November 2, 2013
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Eleazar Padilla Jr.
Age 28
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 5300 Blk Coyote Circle
Mission Texas, 78574
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sherriff's Office

Cold Case Spotlight

28-year-old Eleazar Padilla Jr. ended up at the hospital in a coma hours after he was shot. Two weeks later, his family made the difficult decision to take him off life support. He leaves behind a wife and five children...
CCR: 03-7374
Date Reported: April 1, 2003
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Norma Alvarez
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Unknown
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 8 1/2 north Bentsen Palm drive
L.E.A Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office

CCR: 17-47711
Date Reported: December 8, 2017
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Heather N. Indoe
Gender Female
Race Caucasian/White
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Hit and Run
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unkown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 5218 Wassell
Edinburg Texas, 78539
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sherriff's Office

CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: July 16, 2017
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Nahomi Rodriguez
Age 19
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Unknown
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 602 N. 77
Sunshine Strip Harlingen, Texas, 78550
Cameron
L.E.A Harlingen Police Department

Cold Case Spotlight

On July 16, 2017, Nahomi Rodriguez, a 19-year old, went missing from McDonald’s in Harlingen, Texas. She was last seen alive entering a light colored early 2000s Ford Escape on surveillance video outside her work at a McDonald’s in Harlingen in July 2016. About one year later her skeletal remains were found in Rio Hondo in April 2017. Investigators believe that the same person and vehicle are captured on video from a camera inside the fast food restaurant. A man in a white cap with a black shirt pulls up to the drive-through window. Nahomi can be seen giving the unknown man a fist-punch. The Harlingen police department, law enforcement partners, and community partners are offering $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Naomi's disappearance and death.
CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: September 6, 1988
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Arnaldo Garza Sr.
Age 45
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 822 W Wisconsin Rd
Edinburg Texas , 78539
Hidalgo County
L.E.A Edinburg Police Department

Cold Case Spotlight

EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — An Edinburg family paid $70,000 for the safe return of their loved one only to have him discovered decomposed in a sugarcane field. Three decades later, Arnaldo Garza’s murder remains unsolved. Garza was a husband and welder, known for starting A&A Welding. The 46-year-old man was taken from his home and used as ransom on November 6, 1988, according to Texas DPS. His family received a call stating that Garza had been kidnapped, demanding money to be delivered to Reynosa, Mexico. Reporting the disappearance to authorities, the family delivered the $70,000 in ransom to an individual in Reynosa. Raul Garza, the Assistant Chief of the Edinburg Police Department at the time, immediately advised the kidnapping to the FBI. Additionally, the family reported the payment to officials. Reports at the time stated that “the family awaited an additional demand for delivery of money and return of Garza with completion of the ransom payment.” However, no further word was ever received. On November 17, 1988, Garza’s body was discovered “badly decomposed” in a sugarcane field near Moore Air Field in Edinburg, according to reports at the time in the Valley Morning Star. The following Wednesday, Garza’s wife identified his body through identification of clothing. Edinburg police also verified identity through dental records. Texas DPS asks anyone with information to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip HERE. Texas Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $3,000 to any person who provides information that leads to the arrest of the person/persons responsible for this crime.
CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: January 22, 1993
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Yolanda Moya
Age 33
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 824 Louisiana Ave.
Weslaco Texas, 78596
Hidalgo County
L.E.A Weslaco Police Department

Yolanda Moya was just 33 years-old who failed to report to work at Neunanas & Company local farm company in the early morning of January 22, 1993. A family member went to her new house located at 824 S. Louisiana Avenue looking for her. She was inside the home with a gunshot wound to her chin/neck area, and her body was half burned. She was doused in gasoline and set afire. No Justice. No Peace.
CCR: 08-57575
Date Reported: November 7, 2008
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Fernando "Ferny" Luna
Age 18
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 702 W. Expressway 83
Pharr Texas, 78577
Hidalgo
L.E.A Pharr Police Department

Cold Case Spotlight

The body of an 18-year-old man was found behind a furniture store along U.S. Expressway 83 in Pharr. Officers responded to a call about shots fired near the Lacks Clearance Center, 702 W. Expressway 83 in Pharr. After they arrived, they discovered the bullet-torn body of Edinburg resident Fernando "Ferny" Luna Jr., 18, according to a Pharr police statement. Police continue to look for a dark-colored, four-door, 2005 or 2006 Cadillac CTS and a light-colored passenger vehicle, possibly a Dodge Neon, according to the statement. He was called "Ferny", was 18 years old and was a student at Edinburg North High School. He loved to play football, ride horses, and hunt. He will be always be remembered by his sweet smile, his genuine kindness, and his charm forever to come.