He went out for his daily jog along the Rio Grande and will never go home to his family.
A farm worker on Tuesday afternoon discovered the lifeless body of 57-year-old Miguel Angel Valdez Hernandez laying on the river levee next to a field in southwest Brownsville.
A bullet Cameron County Sheriff’s Department investigators believe may have been fired from Mexico struck the man in his waist area, killing him.
“At this time we are currently looking at all possibilities, including that the shot that killed our victim may have come from Mexico,” Chief Deputy Gus Reyna said during a news conference Thursday morning. “We have contacted Mexican authorities to assist us in this investigation.”
Hernandez, who lived in the area, frequently jogged on the levee, sometimes twice a day.
Investigators have no suspects, but they do have a vehicle of interest seen in a still photograph taken of a white pickup truck with what appear to be two men in the bed of the truck. That photograph shows the white truck leaving an area of Matamoros known as Las Rusias after the shooting.
Reyna only said the vehicle is of interest to investigators, who are working with their counterparts in Mexico.
Authorities believe Reyna died sometime after 3 p.m.
Brownsville EMS responded to the scene, which was on the river levee south of Riverside Road, shortly after 4 p.m.
The river levee is a popular spot for joggers and runners in Brownsville and left one woman feeling angry, shocked and sad at the news that a man lost his life while jogging on the river levee.
“My thoughts are obviously with his family,” said Yvette Vela, a Brownsville resident, who lives near the border. “He died doing something that he loved to do, which is so sad.”
Vela said she did not know the man, but she does know the area.
“It’s not uncommon to see people active on the levee, which is always wonderful,” Vela said. “I always take such joy in seeing other people exercising there.”
Vela likes to jog and take her dog for walks on the river levee and has never once had a problem.
“I’ve never been scared because there’s a bunch of Border Patrol agents,” Vela said.
Asked if she’ll continue to do so, Vela said she wasn’t sure.
“I don’t know. And, you know, I don’t know that I am and that’s also really sad because I enjoy my walks so much, you know, I don’t worry about anything. It’s kind of a decompression time,” Vela said, adding that the river levee is popular because there are no cars to contend with. “I feel like now we’re going to have to get in our car and drive somewhere else, which is not fun.”
The investigation into the shooting death is in its early stages and is ongoing.