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: 91-01339
Date Reported: January 28, 1991
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Unknown
Gender Male
Race Caucasian/White
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Unknown
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
L.E.A Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office

CCR: 17-01892
Date Reported: January 14, 2017
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Kim Avila Martinez
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 6217 ITHACA
Donna Texas, 78537
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sherriff'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.
CCR: 03-19852
Date Reported: August 17, 2003
VICTIM DETAILS
Name John Doe 10
Gender Unknown
Race Unknown
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unkown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location N. of 4 Mile Line on Inspiration Rd.
Mission Texas, 78503
Hidalgo
L.E.A HCSO

CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: June 5, 2001
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Genaro Melendez
Age 30
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
L.E.A Cameron County Sheriff's Dept

Cold Case Spotlight

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A 30-year-old man survived a kidnapping only to be captured and murdered a few years later, authorities continue to look for his murderer two decades later. As the lone survivor in a drug-related kidnapping, Genaro Melendez believed he was in the clear for years but he was kidnapped again in 2001. Melendez was lured into a vehicle at approximately 2:30 a.m. on June 5, 2001, to never again be seen alive. A few days later Melendez’s body was discovered in an empty field, near Boca Chica Beach. His body was found “tied up and had sustained three shots through the head,” according to Cameron County Sheriff at the time, Conrado M Cantu. Sheriff Cantu told reporters from the Brownsville Herald that Melendez’s body appeared to have been killed “execution-style.” The investigation revealed that Melendez’s murder was drug-related. The Cameron County Sheriffs Office does have a person of interest in this case, however, no arrests have been made and the case remains active. If you have any information on this case, please call the Cameron County Crime Stoppers at their hotline: (866)-350-5551 or (956)-350-5551.
CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: June 14, 1998
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Maria Marisella Gonzalez
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location Hudson Road
San Benito Texas, 78586
Cameron
L.E.A Cameron County Sheriff's Office

Cold Case Spotlight

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – A woman well known by the community disappeared with no trace only for her flesh-eaten body to be discovered days later in a resaca, leaving authorities with no leads. 23 years later, the murder of Maria Marisella Gonzalez remains unsolved. Also known as “Marcie,” Gonzalez was a dancer at Crazy Horse Topless Bar. Gonzalez was last seen spending time in Harlingen’s La Placita district on June 8, 1998. Witnesses told authorities that Gonzalez was seen entering a vehicle with a man. The dancer was discovered dead in a resaca near Hudson Road outside San Benito on June 14, 1998, according to the Cameron County Sheriffs’ Office. Gonzalez’s body was found with multiple skull and facial fractures with her face flesh eaten away by “whatever lies in the murky waters.” The 35-year-old woman was identified as “Marcie” through her clothing, jewelry, and the tattoo of a rose on her right shoulder. According to an autopsy report released at the time, Gonzalez’s cause of death was determined to be three blows to the head and face delivered with a blunt object. Preliminary pathology reports ruled her death as a homicide. CCSO Investigator at the time Domingo Diaz told reporters that the agency has questioned all of Gonzalez’s acquaintances but had no leads. Diaz stated that he was sure that “someone saw… something.” As a rise in murders spiked during the time of Gonzalez’s death, reporters spoke with other county officials. Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra emphasized the importance of witnesses, stating murders like Gonzalez’s, that lack witnesses tend to go unsolved. 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: Unknown
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Nora Conde Villalobos
Age 49
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Juan Manuel Tobias
Offense Murder
Cause Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Arrest Made
Incident location FM 1015 and Nittler Road
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

Cold Case Spotlight

While many take the time on Veterans Day to honor those who served, one Valley family continues seeking justice for their beloved veteran. Army veteran Nora Conde Villalobos was only 49 years old when her body was discovered in a canal off FM 1015 and Nittler Road in Hidalgo County in 2017. The discovery prompted the arrest of her boyfriend, Juan Manuel Tobias, on murder charges. More than four years later, her family continues fighting for justice, adding that days like today bring back memories of their beloved veteran. "Her laugh— it was a contagious laugh. You knew that laugh anywhere," said Michelle Rodriguez-Zamarron, Villalobos' niece. "She didn't care who you were. She didn't care about your past. She didn't care if you had money. She didn't care if you were walking off the street. She treated you like anybody else." Rodriguez-Zamarron says her aunt was the kind of person who made everyone feel like they mattered. "We've always wanted from the beginning is just justice," Rodriguez-Zamarron. "Justice on her behalf since she is no longer here. We, as her family, will continue advocating for her." Rodriguez-Zamarron says the family stays strong by focusing on the positive and remembering the sacrifices Villalobos and all veterans made. "Her memory lives on every day," Rodriguez-Zamarron. "Just because she's gone, she's not forgotten. Today is just another day that we honor her and every veteran out there that gave selflessly, enlisted, and served our country." country."
CCR: 17-29602
Date Reported: July 26, 2017
VICTIM DETAILS
Name John Doe 12
Gender Female
Race Unknown
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Aristeo Garcia Cervantes
Offense Murder
Cause Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Arrest Made
Incident location 8029 Dallas St.
Edcouch Texas, 78538
Hidalgo
L.E.A HCSO

Cold Case Spotlight

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra announced Thursday that a 40-year-old Edcouch man recently confessed to killing a woman and dumping her body in a septic tank. Aristeo Garcia Cervantes, 40, of Edcouch confessed to killing a woman and hiding her body in a septic tank, Guerra said Thursday morning during a news conference at the Sheriff’s Office. Cervantes said he killed the woman roughly 10 to 12 years ago and didn’t remember her name, Guerra said, adding that investigators believe the murder occurred in 2004... The Sheriff’s Office started investigating the murder on July 26, 2017, when someone called to report human remains in a septic tank, Guerra said. Investigators went to a home near Edcouch, where Cervantes’ daughter and her boyfriend said they’d been having problems with the septic tank. When the boyfriend and another man attempted to fix the problem, they found a woman’s boot in the septic tank, Guerra said. After they removed the boot, they found a large bone — and called the Sheriff’s Office. Investigators sent the body to a private forensic lab in Virginia for DNA testing, Guerra said. The Sheriff’s Office researched missing women and welfare concerns during the time period, attempting to identify the woman. Investigators are currently talking with a family.
CCR: 04-18832
Date Reported: July 17, 2004
VICTIM DETAILS
Name John Doe 9
Gender Male
Race Unknown
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Beaten/Battered
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location S. Mile 3 on FM 492
Palmview Texas, 78572
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

CCR: 15-48120
Date Reported: December 2, 2015
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Patricia Aevedo Chavez
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 12927 Santawan
Mercedes Texas, 78570
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sherriff's Office

Patricia A. Chavez was fatally shot in her home on December 2nd, 2015 at approximately 8:50 pm in Mercedes, Texas.