Remains of Houston Family Killed in Mexico Return Home

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WESLACO – It’s been almost a year since the last time Annel Ochoa spoke to her parents and youngest sibling.

On Jan. 5, 2017, they were headed home to Houston from Mexico. Their journey would take them through the Rio Grande Valley.

Ochoa called all three of her family members that day, the calls went straight to voicemail. She says she knew something was wrong when she didn’t hear back from her family.

A week later, she received a ransom note via Facebook letting her know that her mother, father, and brother had been abducted.

Ochoa spent months seeking help from authorities on both side of the border, but her efforts seemed to lead nowhere.

Things changed last month when she got a phone call from Mexican authorities.

“It was honestly the worst call I’ve ever gotten,” said Ochoa. “It was not what I wanted. I was hoping they would say, ‘you know what, it's not them.’ But in a way, I’m kind of relieved that I got an answer.”

The family's remains were found on a ranch near Ciudad Victoria, Mexico.

Ochoa says officials with the Procuraduria General de la República de México contacted her and told her the suspected motive.

She said a criminal organization leader was celebrating his birthday that day. Her family drove past in their 2014 Chevy Malibu. The leader laid his eyes on their car as his gift.

"My parents and brother happened to be at the wrong place, at the wrong time,” said Ochoa.

The victims' bodies were identified and are back in the Houston area. Ochoa is coordinating funeral arrangements.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS contacted Mexican officials to find out where the criminal investigation into the murders stands.  We'll continue tracking this story and pass that information along.

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