WESLACO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Authorities across multiple states are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the victim of a 1997 homicide, who is believed to have ties to the Rio Grande Valley.

In January 2023, two men were arrested in connection the killing. However, nearly 30 years after the remains were recovered, “John Doe” remains unidentified.

On Nov. 19, 1997, police were dispatched to Blissfield Township in Lenawee County, Michigan, in response to remains found in a cornfield found by a farmer, a news release from the Michigan Attorney General stated.

“When police arrived to examine the remains, they observed the body of an unidentified, unclothed male that was missing the head and both hands,” the release stated.

Authorities added that the victim’s hands were cut above the wrists, and there appeared to be saw striations on both ends of the bones.

Broadcast reports in Michigan state the killing was believed to be a result of a drug deal after the victim had traveled from the South Texas area. The reports add that the victim had ties to the Weslaco and McAllen area, and that a ranch in between the area could provide answers to his identity.

ValleyCentral spoke with Sgt. Larry D. Rothman, Special Investigation Section with Michigan State Police, who provided more details on the case.

According to Rothman, police received information that the victim was living in the Weslaco and McAllen area, and possibly had a wife and children. The victim is also believed to have had a ranch where there would be cock-fighting.

Additionally, Rothman said the victim would travel to Chicago or Toledo to collect money or drugs. The suspects are believed to have abducted the victim from Toledo.

According to authorities, the victim is believed to be in his 30s, with dark hair, with a name of either “Pablo” or “Roberto.”

On Jan. 24, the U.S. Marshals Service arrested 51-year-old Richardo Sepulveda, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and 49-year-old Michael Sepulveda, of Toledo, Ohio, in connection to the killing. The two men are brothers, police confirmed.

Rothman added that Richardo would frequent the McAllen-Weslaco area to buy drugs in the mid, to late 1990s.

They were extradited on charges of first degree premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, assault with intent to maim, conspiracy to commit assault with intent to maim, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit tampering with evidence.

Those with information are asked to contact the Michigan State Police at (313)407-9379.