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: 17-01-004
Date Reported: January 1, 2017
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Juan Manuel Belmarez
Age 35
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location Jose Borrego St and Hwy 107
Edcouch Texas, 78538
Hidalgo County
L.E.A Edcouch Police Department

Cold Case Spotlight

Texas Rangers Lead the Homicide Investigation in the murder of Juan Manuel Belmarez. The murder and shooting death of Juan Manuel Belmarez occur on Reyes St. and South Ave in Edcouch. A white SUV suburban was stopped in the middle of the street with riddle with bullet holes through the front windshields. The murder took place around 7:00 pm on Sunday. The family wants Justice for Juan Belmarez.
CCR: 14-38057
Date Reported: September 15, 2014
VICTIM DETAILS
Name John Doe 2
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
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sherriff's Office

CCR: 05-20114
Date Reported: June 27, 2005
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Heriberto Ahumada
Age 36
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 1/3 S. 4 Mile Line on Moorefield Rd.
Mission Texas , 78503
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

Heriberto was murdered late morning on June 27th, 2005. His memory forever lives in our hearts and mind. 15 years and nothing has been done to find the person who did this. No Justice, No Peace.
CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: April 18, 2006
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Merardo Magana Garza
Age 63
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location West
Los Ebanos Texas`, 78565
Hidalgo
L.E.A unknown

Cold Case Spotlight

Merardo Magana Garza was lovingly known as “Tano.” He was adored by many in the city of Mission and was known to be a sharp dresser and a ladies' man. The 63-year-old father was found dead on April 18, 2006 west of Los Ebanos. According to Chavez, at the time investigators could not determine Garza’s cause of death. “Officials were unable to see or say how he died because his body was burned and decomposed,” said Chavez. “But, it was ruled as a homicide, the cause is just undetermined.” Garza still had his jewelry when officials found him, according to Chavez... Chavez said investigators have been unable to reach out to family members for new leads and investigators have no trace of the immediate family. ValleyCentral located his obituary, which said Garza was married with children.
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: 13-03653
Date Reported: January 29, 2013
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Dora Elia Gaitan
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 802 Church
San Juan Texas, 78589
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo CO. Sherriff's Office

Dora Elia Gaitan was fatally shot in her home in San Juan, Texas on January 29th, 2013.
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: Unknown
Date Reported: May 12, 2005
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Alberto Castaneda
Age 74
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location Mile 10 N and Mile 1 W
Mercedes Texas, 78570
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

Cold Case Spotlight

When deputies arrived, they discovered the bodies of 52-year-old Reynaldo Castaneda and 74-year-old Alberto Castaneda. Newspaper archives indicate that the men were a father and his son. 74-year-old, Alberto Castaneda At the time, authorities said there was clear evidence of foul play. In January 2021 the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office asked anyone with information about the double homicide to come forward.
CCR: 89-12766
Date Reported: August 14, 1989
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Jesus Manuel Gonzalez
Age 28
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 1/4 Mile E of FM 3071 on SH 107
Elsa Texas, 78538
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

CCR: 02-16480
Date Reported: July 9, 2002
VICTIM DETAILS
Name John Doe 8
Age 58
Gender Male
Race Caucasian/White
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Unknown
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 9 1/4 north of Bentson Palm rd. south of Serenidad Ave.
L.E.A Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office