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: 06-22986
Date Reported: July 3, 2006
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Ranulfo Gaharez
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location South of Bus 83 on Scott Lane West on Daniel
Mission TX, 78572
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: October 26, 1992
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Marcelino Velazco
Age 17
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
L.E.A Cameron County Sheriff's Office

Cold Case Spotlight

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — In 1992, officers received a call about a body found along the banks of the Rio Grande. Nearly 30 years later, the case remains unsolved. On Oct. 26, 1992, the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office received information that there was a body buried along the banks of the Rio Grande in the area of FM 1419. The next day, investigators found a shallow grave with the body of a man wrapped in a blue tarp. After forensic testing, the body was identified as 17-year-old Marcelino Velazco. Velazco had previously been reported missing. He was last seen on Aug. 22, 1992, getting inside of a small, red two-door T-top vehicle at the 6000 block of Camelia Street in Brownsville. The Sheriff’s Office said that there were two “unknown” men in the vehicle. An autopsy revealed that Velazco was struck by a bullet in the upper spinal cord. In a 1992 report by the Valley Morning Star, Cameron County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Ernesto Flores said the murder was “drug-related”, stating Velazco had been involved in trafficking. Authorities said that the murder could have been connected to the slaying of three other men who were found on a Mexican ranch. Previous reports revealed that the suspects tied Velazco with a heavy rope and that his remains had been clawed by animals roaming the area. According to the Valley Morning Star’s report, Velazco’s mother told deputies that two men in Matamoros had confessed to the murder. The two men, Victor Rivera, 19, and Heriberto Ortego Ruiz, were incarcerated for confessing to the murder of three Matamoros residents. “I talked to Mexican authorities, and they said the men arrested never confessed to killing Velazco,” Flores said in the Valley Morning Star’s report. Those with information are asked to contact the Cameron County Crime Stoppers at (956) 350-5551.
CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: January 8, 1973
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Candy Mora-Fletcher
Age 23
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Lewis Brewster
Offense Murder
Cause Knife/Stabbing
Location California
CASE DETAILS
Status Solved
Incident location 411 Lozano St
Harlingen Texas, 78550
Cameron
L.E.A Harlingen Police Dept.

Cold Case Spotlight

It’s one of the more infamous ‘whodunit’s’ in all South Texas. A young, Harlingen mother found with 25 stab wounds, a cut throat, and a broken neck. No arrests were ever made in the killing of 23-year-old Candy Mora-Fletcher. For 45 years, the case file remained quiet, until a new lead on the decades-old crime presented itself. “Once the investigator was able to put the entire case together where it made sense to him, it didn’t take long to realize there was one prime suspect that was left out there and everything seemed to point to him, and that was a man by the name of Lewis Brewster,” says Commander Osborne of the Harlingen Police Department. “He did allude to the fact that he knew we were looking for him and we’d arrest him if we came back and there seemed to be some sort of solace with that,” says Osborne. Last November, the case took its final blow. Brewster passed away due to complications from diabetes. Mora now rests at the Monta Meta Memorial Park in San Benito. Thursday marked the 47th anniversary of the crime. Before the suspect died, D.A. Saenz says the prosecution was on the verge of presenting the case to the grand jury. That move was only two weeks away.
CCR: 17-31402
Date Reported: August 8, 2017
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Irene Espinosa
Age 52
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Alvaro Medrano
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
CASE DETAILS
Status Arrest Made
Incident location 24576 N Sunflower Rd
Edinburg Texas, 78539
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: 16-33304
Date Reported: August 16, 2016
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Alejandra Ornelas
Age 25
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Suspicious Death
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location Rt. 1 Boz 52C (21/2 Miles N. Cesar Charvez)
Materiales Cazares
Alamo Texas, 78516
Hidalgo County
L.E.A Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office

Cold Case Spotlight

On August 16, 2016 Hidalgo County Sheriffs Office Investigators were call to 1400 block of Cesar Chavez to identified Alejandra Ornelas 25-year-old woman found dead Tuesday in San Juan. The Dr. Farely's Autopsy Report concludes by saying undetermined. "The scene contained forensic evidences, Identify it, Collect it, and Preserve it, and it will speak for the dead.” None of this was done properly. No Justice. No Peace.
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: 94-022142
Date Reported: April 2, 1994
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Orlando Aguirre
Age 26
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 1/4 W. 2 1/2 W
Mission Texas, 78574
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

CCR: 01-25146
Date Reported: November 18, 2001
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Maria Oralia Castro
Age 60
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 1/2 Mile East of Filegoria West on Monte Alto
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

CCR: Unknown
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Alfredo Garcia Brito
Age 34
Gender Male
Race African American/Black
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location Brownsville Texas, 78520
Cameron
L.E.A Cameron Co. Sheriff's Office

Cold Case Spotlight

The body of a 34-year-old man was found with gunshot wounds in the trunk of a car, 22 years later his murder remains unsolved. Credit: Cameron County Sheriff’s Office Alfredo Garcia Brito, 34, was reported missing to the Brownsville Police Department on Saturday, May 22, 1999, by his mother. On Sunday, the Cameron County Sheriffs’ office came across an abandoned car, a White Chevrolet Celebrity, on the outskirts of Brownsville. The abandoned car was later towed and placed in an impound lot. The owner of Raymond’s Wrecker reported a “foul unbearable smell” coming from the car on May 26, 1999, according to a release from the Cameron County Sheriffs Office.
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