Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—The murder of a 23-year-old Pharr man remains a mystery 15 years later.
On Oct. 22, 2005, at 2:45 p.m., a runner encountered a naked body West of McColl on Whalen road.
“The runner found the body faced down,” said Hermelinda Chavez with the Hidalgo County Major Crimes Unit. “At the time, there was no way of identifying the body, so he remained as a John Doe for a least about a week.”
After the media reported the story, family members came forward and identified the man as Alberto Rodriguez Banda, Jr.
His death was ruled a homicide, but how he actually died was not released to Valleycentral.com .
“Whether he was shot or stabbed, it will not be released yet,” said Chavez.
Banda had visited one of his brothers on Oct. 19, and that was the last time he was seen alive.
“He used to hang out at a mechanic shop in the McAllen area,” said Chavez. “The people that worked there didn’t see anything out of the norm with Alberto.”
Chavez said Banda was very well-liked. Witnesses told law enforcement they did not understand why he was left dead and naked.
“There was a rumor going on among the family,” said Chavez. “The family said they had heard rumors that supposedly Alberto was having an affair with a woman that was married.”
Chavez said the woman’s husband was Banda’s acquaintance from work.
“These are rumors that the family was hearing, that he had been killed because he was having an affair,” said Chavez. “But nothing was confirmed.”
Law enforcement spoke to the woman at the time of the investigation. In her statement, the woman sounded confused and irrational.
“She was a drug user at the time, and was not very credible,” said Chavez. “Police hit a dead end with her.”
The woman’s husband was deported to Mexico around the same time of Banda’s death.
“This is nothing confirmed, these are just rumors and speculations.” said Chavez.
Unrelated to his death, records show Banda was arrested in the year 2003. According to public records, he was charged with one count of assault and released on a $10,000 bond.
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.