Man charged with kidnapping in Melissa Banda disappearance, death

McAllen police have charged a 40-year-old man, who is accused of forcing his wife into an SUV the day before she was found dead, with aggravated kidnapping/sexual abuse.

His bond is set at $2.5 million on the charge.

Police in McAllen announced on Friday afternoon that they were searching for 37-year-old Melissa Banda, who was last seen at 3:49 p.m. Thursday in the 7100 block of North Seventh Street. Authorities say she was last seen being forced into an SUV by her husband, Richard Ford. Banda had a restraining order against Ford.

Cameron County law enforcement found Ford at around 9:32 p.m. near Beach Access 5 on South Padre Island.

Early Saturday morning, Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra announced that Banda’s body was found north of Donna late Friday night.