Capital murder charge filed against man involved in death of McAllen woman

Local News

McAllen, Texas (KVEO)—The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s office revealed new details on Tuesday on the kidnapping and murder of a McAllen woman.

Melissa Banda, 37, was last seen forcefully taken from her home in McAllen, by her ex-husband Richard Ford, 40 on August 6.

McAllen investigators then tracked Ford’s movements using GPS coordinates obtained from a vehicle he had rented.

The coordinates led police to find Banda’s body on Mile 14 ½.

“Our Major Crimes Unit, Criminal Investigation Unit, and Crime Scene Specialists were summoned to the scene to continue the investigation, secure statements, process the area, and gather evidence.” said the Sheriff’s Office in a statement.

Officials then contacted the South Padre Police Department after seeing Ford’s movement near a beach access on the GPS coordinates.

Ford was arrested by McAllen police on harassment and violation of protective order.

Medical professionals determined that Banda died form a laceration on her neck caused by a sharped object.

After reviewing witness statements, physical evidence, video surveillance evidence, and GPS coordinates, officials were able to obtain a warrant for Ford’s arrest for capital murder.

Ford was charged with one count of capital murder on Tuesday and his bond was set at $2 million.

“We would like to thank the McAllen Police Department, the FBI, South Padre Police Department, and the Cameron County Park Rangers for their assistance in this investigation.” said the statement.

In 2002, Ford was charged for attempting to murder someone in a 2001 incident, according to public records. Ford was sentenced to eight years deferred adjudication with a $1,000 fine.

Ford had alluded jail for nearly a decade after his release in 2010 until February 2020 when he was arrested for assaulting a family member.

Watch the full raw press conference below.

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