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: 99-18929
Date Reported: November 3, 1999
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Juan Luis Garza Alaniz
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location North of 9 North on 6 1/2 West
Weslaco Texas, 78596
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

CCR: 17-31402
Date Reported: August 8, 2017
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Olga Espinosa
Age 30
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Alvaro Medrano
Offense Hit and Run
Cause Beaten/Battered
CASE DETAILS
Status Arrest Made
Incident location 24576 N Sunflower Rd
Edinburg Texas, 78539
Hidalgo
L.E.A HCSO

Cold Case Spotlight

A 47-year-old man has been charged with capital murder after authorities say he confessed to shooting and killing two women in rural Edinburg on Tuesday evening. Alvaro Medrano, 47, of Edcouch was charged with capital murder, a capitol felony, on Wednesday. A Hidalgo County Justice of the Peace set bond at $2 million. At about 6:48 p.m. on Tuesday, Sheriff’s deputies responded to an area near Sunflower Road in rural Edinburg in “reference to a 911 caller reporting that he had shot his wife“, according to a news release from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies located Medrano as he was walking away from the location, and detained him without incident near Farm-to-Market Road 493 and Farm-to-Market Road 2812, according to the news release. When deputies responded to the Medrano’s residence, they found two female bodies inside of a vehicle with gunshot wounds to the head. The bodies were identified as Medrano’s wife, 30-year-old Olga Espinosa, and Medrano’s mother-in-law, 52-year-old Irene Espinosa, according to the news release. Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office investigators and Crime Scene Specialists collected evidence from the scene, including the handgun that was used in the shootings, according to the news release. After an investigation, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office “learned that Medrano had streamed his confession on Facebook Live, while walking away from the crime scene,” according to the news release. Investigators are working with the Facebook Law Enforcement Compliance Department to preserve the livestream as evidence. During an interview, Medrano confessed to killing his wife and mother-in-law in a domestic disturbance due to infidelity, according to the news release. The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone who may be a victim of domestic violence to seek help from their respective law enforcement agencies.
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: Unknown
Date Reported: November 5, 2008
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Rudy Ramos Benitez
Age 27
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name 2 Unknown
Offense Missing Person (Presumed Murdered)
Cause Unknown
Location 2 Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 2505 South Georgia
Weslaco Texas, 78596
Hidalgo County
L.E.A Weslaco Police Department

Cold Case Spotlight

Mr. Benitez is traveling in a green Dodge Ram pickup truck. Rudy is 5'3 - 5'6, 120 - 150 pounds at the time of missing he was wearing a black polo shirt with horizontal purple stripes, blue jeans, and sneakers. He has Brown hair, green/hazel eyes. Benitez has the following tattoos: the name "Angie" or "Angel" on his left bicep, his last name "Benitez" across his abdomen, and the name "Virginia" or "Kina" on the left side of his chest over his heart. His nickname is Woodeye. Benitez bites his nails, and they are very short as a result. Mr. Benitez Sr. waited seven years, to petition and officially pronounced his death. His father Rudy Sr. was a great advocate for his son, and we will continue his legacy and will fight for justice and seek answers for Rudy. The family wants to know what happened to Rudy and where is his body for the sake of his surviving children, mother, and family members.
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.
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: 12-20528
Date Reported: May 23, 2012
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Nora Lee Garcia
Age 37
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Miguel Garcia
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location United States
CASE DETAILS
Status Arrest Made
Incident location 10305 Ramon Ave.
Mission Texas, 78572
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sherriff's Office
CCR: 03-31820
Date Reported: December 31, 2003
VICTIM DETAILS
Name John Doe 6
Gender Male
Race Caucasian/White
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Arrest Made
Incident location F.M. 493 & 12 1/2 N. E. on Victoria Rd.
Donna Texas, 78537
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sherriff's Office

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.
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