RGV True Crime: 15 years later, investigators still look for answers on murder of transgender woman

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — August marks 15 years since Ruben “Yiyo” Tarin de Patino was found murdered.

Yiyo, 21, was found dead East of Wisconsin Road in the city of Edinburg in 2005.

“He was found burned,” said Hermelinda Chavez with the Hidalgo County Major Crimes Unit.

Yiyo was described by family and friends as confident and proud.

Ruben “Yiyo” Tarin de Patino. Credit: Hidalgo County Major Crimes Unit.

“She was described as a person who didn’t like to hide her lifestyle,” said Chavez. “She was never ashamed of how she dressed and she was very outgoing with a lot of friends.”

Yiyo was last seen by her mother on July 27.

She had met several friends and her sister during the day and assisted another friend with car trouble.

Yiyo came home and told her mother she was meeting yet another friend, this was around midnight.

“She didn’t say who she was going to meet up with,” said Chavez. “She had talked to a male friend earlier, so investigators assumed she was meeting that specific friend.”

On July 29, the mother filed a welfare concern with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, and an investigation began.

On August 3, Yiyo’s 1999 Mitsubishi Mirage was found burned on Tower and Wisconsin Road.

On August 3, Yiyo’s 1999 Mitsubishi Mirage was found burned Credit: Hidalgo County Major Crimes Unit.

“When investigators showed up, they found the vehicle,” said Chavez. “They found out it was Yiyo’s car, but they didn’t recover a body.”

On August 5, a citizen was walking through the area and found Yiyo’s body.

On August 5, a citizen was walking through the area and found Yiyo’s body. Credit: Hidalgo County Major Crimes Unit.

“The body was found burned but the autopsy never showed how she was killed,” said Chavez. “It was in the same area where the vehicle was found.”

Investigators determined Yiyo had been dragged out of his car.

“She would visit a lot of nightclubs around the area, McAllen and Edinburg,” said Chavez. “She was not aggressive but definitely defended herself.”

Chavez added all of the friends that Yiyo met on July 27 were interviewed and had alibis.

Investigators and family never confirmed who she had met, according to Chavez.

“Family never knew who she met, it was never confirmed,” said Chavez.

If you have any information on this suspect or this case, please call the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office at 956-383-8114. You can call anonymously to the Hidalgo County Crime Stoppers hotline at 956-668-8477. If the information provided through the Crime Stoppers hotline leads to an arrest, you may qualify for a reward.

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