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Vandals Making Brownsville Family Search for Relative Diffic

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BROWNSVILLE – A Brownsville family said vandals are making the search for their missing loved one more difficult.

Ivon Avila told CHANNEL 5 NEWS she and her younger brother Ramiro have always been close. He went missing in downtown Brownsville 11 weeks ago.

Avila said her brother began dressing as a woman several years ago. She and the rest of the family have always respected his decision.

She was the last family member to see Ramiro, who also goes by Kimberly.

"My brother was a very happy person. He was always laughing. He was always smiling. He loved music, he loved to dance,” she said.

Avila said her family wants answers on her brother's whereabouts. She said they gather as a family to post missing signs of their brother in the area he went missing every night.

Avila told CHANNEL 5 NEWS when the family returns to the area, they find the signs destroyed.

"They burn his eyes. They cut his head off. They cut all of the information where you can call. They burn the flier. It's nothing good. Why?" Avila questioned.

The Avila’s explained in many cases, neighboring missing person signs are unharmed.

They feel their loved ones signs are being targeted because of his choices. They’re also concerned the vandalism and attitude towards their loved one and his lifestyle is interfering with the Brownsville Police Department's investigation.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to Brownsville Police Detective J.J. Trevino. He said the public's help in missing person’s cases are key.

"It is extremely important to us that the community reach out to us and give whatever information they think they might have," he said.

He said the graffiti written around the signs are illegal. He added the department also has other ways of getting the word out about Avila.

"We have social media. We can reach out to more people based on social media," Trevino said.

The detective explained he doesn't believe the investigation into Avila's disappearance has been hurt in anyway by the vandalized signs.

Regardless, Ivon Avila said her family will continue to post the signs every night. She said they refuse to give up until they receive word on her brother's whereabouts.

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