Sheriff’s office: 2 detained in homicide probe; victim identified

Update: 3:40 p.m.

The body of a man authorities believe was murdered was found Saturday morning by Hidalgo County sheriff deputies. Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra identified the man as 23-year-old Fernando Garza.

“We do have two people in custody,” Guerra said, referring to two suspects arrested in connection with the crime. “We will be gathering evidence to charge them with murder.”

Speaking to reporters Saturday afternoon, Guerra said this case began Thursday when the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Garza’s mother reporting him missing.

“(The mother) had received a call from some of his friends that he had been possibly kidnapped,” Guerra said.

On Friday authorities recovered Garza’s vehicle, a 2006 Dodge Durango. The abandoned car had been burned.

The family also received an anonymous call Friday that the body had been dumped in an orchard “somewhere in this area.” Deputies found Garza’s body in the northwest part of an orchard on Iowa Road between Mile 11 and Mile 12 Roads. The area is surrounded by ranches mostly only accessible through dirt roads.

The sheriff’s office is still looking for two, possibly three, persons of interest. Guerra described the open investigation as fluid.

“We’re working to develop a motive in this case,” Guerra said.

According to a tweet from Guerra, the cause of death was gunshot wounds.

Authorities can not yet release details of the condition the body was found in and also cannot release the names of the two suspects in custody. Guerra did confirm Garza is from the western part of Hidalgo County.

Guerra asked the public to contact the HCSO if they have any information surrounding the circumstances of Garza’s death at (956) 383-8114.


Update: 2:06 p.m.

Two people have been detained in the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office investigation into a suspected homicide, according to Sheriff Eddie Guerra.

In a statement issued on social media Saturday afternoon, the sheriff said investigators believe the victim to be 23-year-old Fernando Garza.

Guerra said the sheriff’s office had received a report of a welfare concern regarding Garza on Thursday. What’s more, Guerra said the sheriff’s office located “a burned vehicle belonging to the victim,” and that two suspects have been identified and detained in the investigation.


11:55 a.m.

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the death of a man found with gunshot wounds, Sheriff Eddie Guerra said via Twitter on Saturday.

Guerra described the man as being an adult Hispanic male, and that sheriff’s investigators and crime scene specialists are currently at the scene, located at Mile 13 and Iowa Road.

This is a developing story with more details to come.

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office work the scene of a suspected homicide Saturday, July 27, 2019, northwest of Edinburg on Iowa Road, in the vicinity of Mile 11 and Mile 12 roads. (Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com)