Unsolved Murders Leave Valley Families Seeking Answers
MCALLEN – This season is a painful reminder for one Rio Grande Valley woman. She says her brother was murdered and his case was never solved.
Every Christmas, Liz Garza hangs a hat for her brother. He was shot and killed nine years ago this December.
"That Christmas, it was like it wasn't supposed to be a Christmas for any of us in our family," said Garza. "It was like only 'Pinky' got Christmas. He got his tennies and he got his gold shirt, and that's what I buried him with."
Garza is just one of several people in the Valley who are fighting for justice, for a relative murdered, their cases unsolved. Garza's brother, Walton Sanchez, was 47 years old.
According to Garza, he went by the name “Pinky”, because of his rosy cheeks.
On Dec. 23, 2008, Sanchez was shot on a street in Mission.
"The justice that I want," Garza told CHANNEL 5 NEWS, "is that the coward or cowards who killed my brother need to be put on the stand. They need to face the truth."
Mission police investigators could not share details on the case, but the police chief says Sanchez’s case is still open.
Texas Rangers list six cold cases in Hidalgo and Cameron counties, not to mention unsolved murders. Those cases date back decades.
Such as Kim Leggett, who was abducted from the Ross Cotton Gin. Investigators say her captors never responded to their own ransom note.
Arnoldo Garza is another cold case listed at the Department of Public Safety. His remains were discovered in an Edinburg field.
"The cowards, the perpetrators, suspects, whatever you want to call it: they took the choice of killing my loved one and really there is no justification to kill a loved one or kill another human person," says Robert Garcia, a chair for Rio Grande Valley Friends and Family of Murdered Children.
Garcia too lost a family member. His brother was murdered.
Fortunately, his brother’s case was solved, but Garcia says there are so many others waiting for answers.
"When I heard the cry of my mother, I could just imagine how many mothers, daughters, sons, uncles, grandkids they left behind and are still asking what happened to my loved one," said Garcia.
Together the members of the group, including Garza, are holding each other up through their loss.
"When somebody's life is robbed from them," said Garza, "That is so hard."
If anyone has tips on Walton “Pinky” Sanchez's death or information for other unsolved cases, call the Mission Crime Stoppers at 956-581-8477 or the Cameron County Crime Stoppers at 956-350-5551.