State Offers to Reward Those Who Help Unsolved Cases

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EDINBURG - The state is willing to reward tipsters who help solve cold case murders.

Texas Crime Stoppers is offering up to $3,000 to any person who provides information that leads to an arrest.

The Texas Rangers cold case unit currently has 10 open cases from the South Texas region.

Edinburg native Arnaldo Garza, who went missing more than 28 years ago, is one of those cases. His daughter, Lina Garza, hopes the reward will bring new information to light in his case. Her decades-long search for answers sits in two stuffed binders.

“If this is my investigation, imagine theirs. Theirs is like double or triple this size. I have a deposition,” she said. “I have a private investigator and I have come to different conclusions that were not followed up at the time.”

Lina said she’s putting her faith in the state cold case division. Her father’s case is currently posted under the DPS Unsolved Homicide list.

Garza was last seen leaving his house in a two-door white Ford truck on Sept. 6, 1988. His daughter remembers seeing him in the middle seat as the vehicle drove off.

“At the time that I saw them taking him, I didn’t know he was being kidnapped. I though he’ll be back later and that wasn’t the case,” she said.

Garza’s body was found two months later in a filed north of Edinburg. No arrests were ever made in the case, and no suspect was made public either.

“It was labeled drug related but there was no evidence of that. There was just speculation, and he was thrown under the rug. He wasn’t investigated properly,” she said.

Lina hopes somebody is willing to share information to solve the case, even if it’s anonymous.

There are several other cold cases from the Rio Grande Valley on the list.

Candyce Fletcher-Mora was found stabbed to death in her Harlingen apartment in 1973. Her 2-year-old daughter was also found in the apartment unharmed.

In 1984, Kim Leggett was abducted from the Ross Cotton Gun in Mercedes where she worked as a secretary. Her body was never recovered.

Eighteen years after, in 2002, Enedelia Benavides and Michael Jason Buckelew were found shot dead in a trailer house in Edinburg. Both victims, of Houston, were deaf and mute.

Anyone with information on these cases can call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-252-8477. All tips are anonymous and callers are given a tip number instead of using a name. 


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