Police probe leads to human remains in San Benito

Corpus Christi mother searches for daughter missing for 5 months

SAN BENITO — A Corpus Christi woman is praying remains found in a brush-covered area aren’t those of her daughter reported missing five months ago.

Police are investigating whether remains found here Tuesday could be those of Elyn Loera, 32, of Corpus Christi, Harlingen police Commander David Osborne said Wednesday.

“We’re looking into that,” Osborne said. “We only have skeletal remains. All possibilities are open.”

On Wednesday, Rosie Loera said Harlingen police investigators have spoken with her about her daughter’s disappearance.

“They told me they found a body,” Loera, 53, a home health provider, said during a telephone interview. “I hope it’s not her. I hope she’s found. If it was my daughter, I’ve got so many things on my mind. How does anyone on the face of the earth just disappear without anybody seeing anything or knowing anything?”

Osborne said investigators have spoken with Rosie Loera, who reported her daughter missing in September after she boarded a bus for Harlingen to visit Anthony Eliff III, 44, who police have charged with the murder of Guillermo Garcia, 41, found in a parked car in Harlingen with a gunshot to his chest Feb. 6.

“We’ve already spoken to her personally,” Osborne only said of the interview with Rosie Loera.

Osborne said investigators have not named Eliff as a suspect in Elyn Loera’s disappearance.

“It’s too early to tell,” he said. “It is irresponsible for us to make any assumptions. We’d like to complete our interviews.”

Disappearance reported

On Wednesday, Loera said she last spoke with her daughter after she boarded a bus for Harlingen to visit Eliff.

But her daughter wouldn’t disclose where she was staying.

“She bought a one-way ticket to Harlingen. She was supposed to meet Tony Eliff,” she said. “I told her it was not a good idea. He had been seeing her in Corpus.”

About three days after her daughter left for Harlingen, Loera said she spoke with Eliff.

“He told me they argued,” she said. “He told me she had left and he had all her stuff.”

Loera said she reported her daughter’s disappearance to the Corpus Christi Police Department, which referred her to Harlingen police.

“I told them she went to see Tony Eliff,” she said.

The police department told her officers needed a physical address to search for her daughter, she said.

But she said she didn’t know where her daughter was staying.

“I wish someone would have done something when I first reported it,” Loera said.

Police report filed

Loera described her daughter as a mother of five children who had suffered a “nervous breakdown” after breaking up with her husband.

“A couple of months” before her disappearance, her daughter had met Eliff, later staying in his apartment, she said.

“She told me, ‘I really don’t like this guy. He’s got something about him,’” Loera said her daughter told her.

Loera said she and her daughter filed a report with the Corpus Christi Police Department.

“He’s very manipulative. He played games with her all the time,” she said.

CrimeStoppers tip

On Monday, a CrimeStoppers tip received following Eliff’s arrest led investigators to a brush-covered area next to a strip mall in the 1200 block of West Business 77 in San Benito.

By noon Tuesday, investigators had found exposed human remains which appeared to be about three to four months old, Osborne said.

Now, lab tests are expected to determine the victim’s sex, Sgt. Larry Moore said.

Human remains found

On Wednesday, officers released dogs to search the area for remains that animals such as coyotes might have scattered.

“Cadaver K-9s were used to search for any more human remains,” Osborne stated. “At this time, they did not locate any additional remains.”

Wednesday afternoon, police called in a company to fly a drone over the area.

“They’re going to fly over the entire five acres to do a map rendering so we can have it for our files,” Osborne said.

Eliff’s arrest

Last Friday, police arrested Eliff, charging him with Garcia’s murder.

The day before, officers responded to reports of a man shot in the 3300 block of Adams Landing at about 10 p.m.

A judge set Eliff’s bail at $1.9 million for the murder charge and $40,000 for a charge of possession of a controlled substance.