Grandmother Speaks Out on Teen's Death
EDINBURG – The family of a teenager who was found dead near Edinburg said they acted quickly with authorities after she went missing.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke Monday to Kassandra Ramirez’s legal guardian, the woman who reported her missing last Wednesday. She asked us not to reveal her name or face.
The woman who raised Ramirez said she remembers her as a little girl who never went to sleep without her favorite stuffed animal.
“She was always telling me, ‘I’m not going to leave you’, because she had the mind of a little girl,” she said.
The woman said the family had just returned from church Wednesday night when Ramirez ran from the house.
“When she went running, my other granddaughter was behind her and she saw Kassandra went straight to a pickup truck that was parked outside,” she said.
The concerned grandmother called San Juan police immediately after. She got news Friday morning that Ramirez’s body was found near an orchard.
Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said the investigation led straight to 27-year-old Daniel Salazar. He said the man and the teenager maintained a relationship on social media.
“During questioning, Daniel Salazar implicated himself in the sexual assault of the victim prior to her death,” he said.
Investigators believe Salazar took Ramirez to his McAllen house for a party that same night she went missing.
His sister, Irene Salazar, and her boyfriend, Eric Zamudio, were also present at the party. Both told police Ramirez became sick the day after.
Authorities said Daniel Salazar refused to seek medical help for the teen. Irena and Eric also admitted to helping dump her body early Friday.
“We want to urge parents to use caution when their children are on social media,” the sheriff said.
Ramirez’s grandmother said she had no idea she was having an online relationship.
“She didn’t have a phone, but I gave her a lot of family time. But unfortunately, there was people who took her away from me,” she said.
San Juan police said Ramirez was entered into a database for runaways after she was reported missing.
The sheriff’s office said more charges and more arrest could come as the investigation continues.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Hidalgo County Crime Stoppers at 956-968-8477.
Online Safety Tips:
A former FBI agent said parents should install security applications to monitor their children’s online activity. He said safekids.com is a useful website.
Other advice includes parents knowing their children’s passwords to social media accounts and checking their privacy settings.