Another year without answers for family of missing Alice man
Another year Esmeralda Charles continues to ask the community for help finding her brother, who went missing for 39 years ago.
Ramon Jaramillo Vasquez's family continues to hope that one day they will finally know what happened to him. He went missing since June 25, 1982. Charles, Vasquez's sister, carries the memory of Vasquez in her heavy heart.
"Someone, somewhere knows something and I can't stop asking. Our mother was diagnosed with dementia last year," Charles said. "She asks for my brother. She wants to see him."
Charles' and her family need closure and prays that one day someone will have any information that can help law enforcement find her brother.
Vasquez went missing at the age of 28 after he went to a store near his home on Rayo Street with his brother-in-law, Juan Suarez, and never returned.
According to Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department reports, Suarez was admitted to a local hospital later that night with a gunshot wound to his chest, which he told deputies he accidentally inflicted on himself. Suarez later changed his story and said Vasquez shot him. He also said he then struck Vasquez in the head or neck and left him on the side of a road, reports stated. According to investigators, Vasquez was never seen again and no one was charged in his disappearance.
Charles said over the past 30-something years law enforcement have searched a number of locations for Vasquez's body throughout the county, and has heard many rumors about where he might be buried.
"If he is gone, we want to know," Charles said. "It's a chapter that hasn't been closed. Every year that goes by is painful. What do I tell my mother? I don't have answers."
Vasquez was last seen getting into an early 1980s white Ford pickup truck with Texas license plates near his residence in the 1100 block of Rayo Street on the day of his disappearance. The truck was later found abandoned at the Alice Police Department.
A few years ago, Charles had a glimmer of hope when she was having lunch at a Mexican food restaurant in Corpus Christi and a homeless man resembling her brother walked by. She was unable to locate the man afterward and contacted the investigators.
Vasquez has been declared legally dead. However, Charles said that until the family knows what happened to their loved one, they'll keep praying.
At the time of his disappearance, Vasquez was 5 feet 9 inches and weighed 170 pounds. He had brown hair, brown eyes and a scar on his chin. He also had a tattoo of a rose on his left bicep with a ribbon below the rose with the names of his wife, daughter and himself – "Gracie," "Sandra" and "Ramon." He was last seen wearing a denim vest, blue jeans and brown leather sandals.
Anyone with information regarding Vasquez's disappearance is asked to contact the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department at 361-668-0341 or Crime Stoppers of South Texas at 361-664-STOP (7867). Callers can remain anonymous and may earn a cash reward if the tip leads to an arrest.