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.

Search

Show More Options

167 cases found.
CCR: 02-15094
Date Reported: June 22, 2002
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Jesus Chavez
Age 24
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 1/2 Mile E of Raul Longoria on Trenton Rd
Edinburg Texas, 78539
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

Almost 2 decades and Jesus Chavez's murder has not been solved, he will forever be in our thoughts and prayers. No Justice, No Peace.
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
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: Unknown
Date Reported: October 17, 2017
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Mario Alberto Garza
Age 17
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Missing Person (Presumed Murdered)
Cause Unknown
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location La Sagunada Road, about four miles west of Farm-to-Market-Road 755.
Rio Grande City Texas, 78582
Starr County
L.E.A Starr County Sheriff’s Office

Cold Case Spotlight

The Starr County Sheriff’s Office along with Texas Rangers are asking for the public’s help in locating two missing brothers. On, Mario Alberto Garza, 17, and Rosvel Garza, 19 were reported missing by their family. The two brothers were last seen by friends on October 18, 2017, in a gray Dodge Dakota extended cab pickup. Through the investigation, it was discovered that the vehicle, 2005 Dodge Dakota, was found abandoned and burnt in the woods near La Sagunada Road near Farm-to-Market Road 755. Anyone with information or knows the whereabouts of Mario Alberto Garza and Rosbel Garza are encouraged to contact the Starr County Sheriff’s Office at (956) 487-5571.
CCR: 91-2243
Date Reported: February 12, 1991
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Jesus Cantu
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 1/2 Mile S. of Ingle Rd on U.S. 281 E. side
Edinburg TX, 78539
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

3 decades have passed and Jesus Cantu's murder is still unsolved with very little information. No Justice, No Peace.
CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: June 16, 2011
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Roman Ramirez Jr.
Age 22
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location Starr County
L.E.A Starr County Sheriff's Office

Cold Case Spotlight

Investigators with the Starr County Special Crimes unit worked lead after lead trying to figure out who murdered Roman Ramirez, Jr. But starting with the New Year, those leads have gone cold. Investigators told Action 4 News that its TMs been a seven long months of chasing leads that went nowhere. Months of unanswered questions have also taken their toll on the family. Ramirez was shot and left for dead on the side of La Blanca Road in the Guerra Garza Subdivision on a sunny June 2011 afternoon. Investigators said it was an area that Ramirez would frequently travel walking up and down La Blanca Road. They said with no witnesses coming forward, their investigation has come to a standstill. Authorities are hoping a cash reward will bring someone forward someone who can help bring closure to a grieving family. Starr County Sheriff TMs Office Investigator David Ibarra spoke to Action 4 News about the case. His family reaches out to us on a regular basis, Ibarra said. We’d really like to help them out by putting the person or persons responsible behind bars.”
CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: July 14, 2001
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Denise Villarreal
Age 16
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Offense Murder
Cause Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Arrest Made
L.E.A Cameron County Sheriff's Office

Cold Case Spotlight

On 07-14-2001, at approximately 2:45 PM, the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding a deceased body found one-half mile east of the Shrimp Basin off of State Highway 48 in Cameron County, Texas. The victim was later identified as Denise Villarreal. At the time of her death, Villarreal was 16 years old and listed as a runaway.
CCR: 14-38057
Date Reported: September 15, 2014
VICTIM DETAILS
Name John Doe 1
Gender Unknown
Race Unknown
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 8800 Tex-Mex
Edinburg Texas, 78539
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sherriff's Office

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: July 29, 2005
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Ruben “Yiyo” Tarin de Patino
Age 21
Gender Transgender
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Hit and Run
Cause Beaten/Battered
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location E. Wisconsin Rd.
Edinburg Texas, 78539
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

Cold Case Spotlight

August marks 15 years since Ruben “Yiyo” Tarin de Patino was found murdered. Yiyo, 21, was found dead East of Wisconsin Road in the city of Edinburg in 2005. “He was found burned,” said Hermelinda Chavez with the Hidalgo County Major Crimes Unit. Yiyo was described by family and friends as confident and proud. “She was described as a person who didn’t like to hide her lifestyle,” said Chavez. “She was never ashamed of how she dressed and she was very outgoing with a lot of friends.” Yiyo was last seen by her mother on July 27. She had met several friends and her sister during the day and assisted another friend with car trouble. Yiyo came home and told her mother she was meeting yet another friend, this was around midnight. “She would visit a lot of nightclubs around the area, McAllen and Edinburg,” said Chavez. “She was not aggressive but definitely defended herself.” Chavez added all of the friends that Yiyo met on July 27 were interviewed and had alibis. Investigators and family never confirmed who she had met, according to Chavez. “Family never knew who she met, it was never confirmed,” said Chavez.