McAllen police confirm ongoing death investigation

Warnings are posted on the door to the main office of Plateros Produce, located off West Military Highway in McAllen, where Luis Reymundo Pierda Martinez, 32, was found dead on Nov. 18. (Monitor photo)

The McAllen Police Department confirms it has an open investigation into the death of a man inside a produce warehouse earlier this month.

The confirmation comes after the city of McAllen declined to release the police report into the death of 32-year-old Luis Reymundo Pierda Martinez at Plateros Produce on Nov. 18.

Citing a previous Texas Attorney General opinion, a city official said it is withholding the report because it would interfere with the detection, investigation or prosecution of a crime.

The Monitor refiled its request, which will require the city of McAllen to seek an opinion from the Attorney General.

Authorities have been tight-lipped on the investigation, but Lt. Joel Morales said it will remain open pending autopsy results.

The McAllen health department, which has closed Plateros Produce, citing probable cause for a violation of Texas Food Establishment laws, has referred questions to police.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed it is investigating, but has declined to answer questions.

However, a source with knowledge of the circumstances of Martinez’s death has said the man would sleep at Plateros due to his long drive home and that the warehouse underwent fumigation while the man stayed overnight.

Reporters visiting the warehouse at 4314 W. Military Highway two days after his body was discovered noticed a strong chemical smell outside the business’ front door and could see an air mattress with blankets on it inside an office.

A door to the warehouse, which could be seen through the glass front door of Plateros, was cracked open and product could be seen on pallets.