‘Where is Kimberly Avila?’: Four years later, family continues to look for answers

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PHOTO: Via findkimberlyavila.com

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — Kimberly Avila was reported missing four years ago in Brownsville, and her family still has many questions left unanswered.

Kimberly Avila was last seen when she was dropped off at Downton Brownsville at the 1200 block of E. Washington Street.

She was wearing a black wig, a black short sleeve dressy blouse, a black skirt, and high-heeled shoes, according to the city of Brownsville.

On Thursday, the Avila family along with Poderosos, hosted a virtual vigil to celebrate Kimberly Avila’s life on the fourth anniversary of her disappearance.

Ivon Avila, Kimberly’s sister, said that in the four years of her search, there has been no update from the investigators, and the only information they have is that it is an open case, and the investigation is ongoing.

PHOTO: City of Brownsville

Oscar Lopez, CEO of Poderosos, said that at a two-year anniversary prayer vigil in 2019, Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz took the stage and publicly said he had” just interviewed a suspect who may have been responsible for her death.”

“A blunder that was quickly brought to his attention as he side stepped the podium and dashed away without apologizing to the family for causing them needless pain,” Lopez said in a statement.

To this day, Lopez said the family has not received an apology or explanation of why Saenz said she was dead.

“It’s been very difficult since the beginning.. as of today it’s been four years,” Ivon said. “Four painful years…We don’t know what happened to my sister if she is alive, or if she is not alive, if she was hurt, if she was a victim of a violent attack, we are in the dark.”

The Avila family is asking the public to reach out to Saenz via Facebook and ask “what [is he and his office] doing to charge someone with the disappearance of or harm to Kimberly Avila and help bring some closure to a family’s four-year nightmare?”

Over the past four years, the family with the help of local organizations, and Brownsville Pd have collected $10,000 to offer as a cash reward for somebody who provides information.

However, Lopez thinks that $10,000 isn’t enough, and believes that if Kimberly wasn’t a transgender woman more money would already be fundraised.

In 2019, the city of Brownsville in collaboration with invested community members, created the LGBTQ+ Task Force “to address growing concerns around increased discrimination and harassment impacting this community in Brownsville- including addressing the disappearance of Kimberly Avila.”

The public is urged to report any information on Avila’s whereabouts, or if they know anything about the night that she went missing to Brownsville Crime Stoppers at (956) 546-8477. All calls are anonymous.

“As a trans Latina, Kimberly is particularly vulnerable to violence because of historical and ongoing, systemic transphobia, transmisogyny, misogyny, racism and colonization. As a sex worker, Kimberly also has an increased risk of harm through violence.”

Via findkimberly.com

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