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: 88-20798
Date Reported: December 16, 1988
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Charles McCumber
Gender Male
Race Caucasian/White
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location E. of Mile 2 1/2 E. Mile 6 3/4 N.
Mercedes Texas, 78570
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

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: 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: 02-10891
Date Reported: May 6, 2002
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Rebecca Escobar
Gender Female
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location SE corner if Alberta & Valverde Rd.
Donna Texas, 78537
Hidalgo
L.E.A Hidalgo Co. Sheriff's Office

CCR: 17-18620
Date Reported: May 8, 2017
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Anastacio Rocha Jr.
Age 37
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Juan David Garcia
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
CASE DETAILS
Status Arrest Made
Incident location 3898 Gladiola Dr
Edinburg Texas, 78539
Hidalgo
L.E.A HCSO

Cold Case Spotlight

Friends found a 37-year-old San Carlos man dead late Monday night northwest of Edinburg. Family members called the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office at about 7:30 p.m. Monday to report Anastacio Rocha, 37, of San Carlos hadn’t returned home, said Sheriff Eddie Guerra. They also called OnStar, the vehicle tracking and roadside assistance service, which provided a GPS location for Rocha’s car. Four friends went to the location near Big Five Road and Mile 14, where they found Rocha dead in the car, Guerra said. Investigators haven’t said where, exactly, Rochas was located in the car when they found him. Investigators determined Rocha suffered what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head, Guerra said. The Sheriff’s Office is treating Rocha’s death as a homicide.
CCR: 99-15473
Date Reported: September 14, 1999
VICTIM DETAILS
Name unknown
Age 33
Gender Male
Race Caucasian/White
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Unknown
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Arrest Made
Incident location North of expressway 83 on old Post Office Road
sullivan City Tx, 78595
L.E.A Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office

CCR: 02-15529
Date Reported: June 27, 2002
VICTIM DETAILS
Name John Doe 13
Gender Unknown
Race Unknown
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Blunt Force
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location w. Iowa Rd on 5 mile line
Mission Texas, 78503
Hidalgo
L.E.A HCSO

CCR: 94-15557
Date Reported: June 15, 1994
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Unknown
Gender Unknown
Race Unknown
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Unknown
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location 1/8 mile west of mile 2 east on FM 2629 north
L.E.A Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office

CCR: 96-26006
Date Reported: September 10, 1996
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Unknown
Gender Female
Race Caucasian/White
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Suspicious Death
Cause Unknown
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location Whalen Rd and Border Rd
Donna Tx, 78537
L.E.A Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office

CCR: Unknown
Date Reported: January 4, 1992
VICTIM DETAILS
Name Joseph Michael Escobedo
Age 23
Gender Male
Race Hispanic/Latino
SUSPECT DETAILS
Name Unknown
Offense Murder
Cause Gun/Firearm
Location Unknown
CASE DETAILS
Status Unsolved
Incident location Schmoker Road
Harlingen Texas, 78550
Cameron
L.E.A Cameron County Sheriff's Office

Cold Case Spotlight

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Always chosen for jury duty, a man went missing days before trial. His family searched across borders when his body was discovered shot multiple times in a canal. Three decades later, the murder of Joseph Michael Escobedo remains unsolved. Escobedo was a student at Texas Southmost College and a member of the Knights of Columbus, with ambitions to possibly become a teacher, according to reports at the time. The 23-year-old man said goodbye to his family for the last time as he headed out the door for a night out on January 2, 1992. The next day, Escobedo’s parents noticed their son’s absence as his bedroom seemed untouched. Growing concerned following a call from Escobedo’s boss stating he had not arrived for his shift, his father began a search. Escobedo’s father searched jails and police stations in Harlingen, Brownsville, South Padre Island, Reynosa, and even Matamoros. However, there was no trace. After waiting 24-hours, the Escobedos filed an official missing person report with the Brownsville Police Department. On January 4, 1992, Escobedo’s “bullet-riddled” body was discovered that same afternoon in a canal along Schmoker Road, outside Harlingen city limits near Valley International Airport, according to the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said Escobedo was shot eight times with two different weapons. Investigators spoke with Escobedo’s friends who claimed that they last saw him leaning against a car in the parking lot at the Genesis nightclub in Brownsville. Police were not able to determine whether he left by himself or whether someone picked him up. Feeling like they took a “part of [her] heart out,” Escobedo’s mother explained to investigators that her son was a good citizen. Emphasizing how much he enjoyed jury duty, as it was one of his “favorite hobbies.” The mother told reporters with the Valley Morning Star at the time that Escobedo was actually expected in court within days of his disappearance and murder. Escobedo was set to attend the trial of a county case on January 6, 1992. Lieutenant Ernesto Flores with the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office told reporters at the time that they could not find a motive. Adding that Escobedo “had a lot of friends, but few enemies.” In their son’s memory, the Escobedos planted a white rose bush under Michael’s bedroom window shortly after his death. Escobedo’s mother shared that she takes the roses that have blossomed to his grave. 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.