Remains found in Arroyo identified as missing man, Harlingen police confirms

By: Trevier Gonzalez

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Harlingen police on Thursday confirmed that human remains found in the Arroyo last month have been identified as missing man 56-year-old Rickey Lee Rowlett. 

Rowlett was last seen leaving Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen on Nov. 4, 2021. 

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Harlingen police recovered the human remains from the Arroyo on Nov. 15. 

Rowlett's wife, Guadalupe Rowlett, says she's trying to move forward from the loss and get back to work, but even that is a challenge. 

"I still can't get myself together to do anything," Rowlett said. " I just buried him yesterday and those emotions are still there for me to even think about what's next."

The couple had been together for 26 years. Rowlett said at the moment she was separated from her husband at the hospital, her knees held her back from going after him. 

"I tried following him. I did," Rowlett said. " I just didn't catch up to him and by the time I went down the elevator, I didn't see him anymore."

Although the family's search has come to a tragic end, Rowlett says she can't help but carry some frustration towards the hospital and police. 

"I went and got the police department to help me out and they said they couldn't help me out until Monday," Rowlett said. "That was like four days later. There's a frustration too, towards the hospital and the police department. 

In a statement sent to Channel 5 News, the hospital said, "Valley Baptist Medical Center - Harlingen will defer to the Harlingen Police Department due to the ongoing investigation into this incident."

A spokesperson for the Harlingen Police Department says the cause of death for Rickey Lee has not been determined. 

Channel 5 News attempted to follow up with the department regarding Guadalupe's concerns after regular office hours, but did not hear back. 

The case remains under investigation. 


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