Family of Missing LGBTQ Member Begs Community For Answers

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - “Anything that you might think is not going to help, might be something for them that is going to help” said Ivone Rodarte at the first press conference in 11 weeks for her brother Ramiro Avila also known as Kimberly Avila.  

Avila was last seen in the downtown area of Brownsville on May 12, 2017.

The family confirmed Avila was a known commercial sex worker and when no contact was made less than 12 hours after seeing each other, Rodarte knew immediately something was wrong. 

“We just want him home” said Rodarte at with tears running down her face while addressing local media. 

But to bring her beloved brother home, Brownsville Police Department investigators overcome a lack of information. In News Center 23’s special report “A Dangerous Double Life” 

Brownsville Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez addressed his frustrations with individuals who may have information but are not coming forward. 

At the Thursday’s press conference hosted by the South Texas Equality Project, Chief Rodriguez echoed those same frustrations, “It has been a difficult case to work because the people that we have been interviewing tend not to be cooperative with law enforcement.”

The people Chief Rodriguez referred to are known commercial sex workers in the downtown area. To add to the lack of information, the missing person flyers in the downtown area have been vandalized or ripped down, “Every day we put up flyers. Every day they burn him, they cut his head off, they put he is dead, they burn his eyes, they cut all the information that has to deal with the police department and it's only his signs. We put them up every day and every day they do it and it happens in the middle of the night because during the day the signs are up there. Come night and they get down, they get burned and they get thrown away but why only my brother signs? There are a lot of flyers out there." The family suspects the person ripping the flyers may know something "Why are you burning my brother's flyers? Why is it that you don't want us to find him for what are you hiding?"

“We're not going to stop. We're not going to stop until you're back home. Until you're safe at home. If you can find a way to get a hold of us. He is very smart find a way to let us know that you are out there you know alive."

To find answers, the South Texas Equality Project has created a donation page to collect reward money for vital information. In less than 24 hours more than $1,000 have been raised. The name of the account is “Finding Ramiro Avila,” at Lone Star National Banks, should anyone in the community want to donate to help the Avila family. 

Anonymous tips can be made to Brownsville Crime Stoppers Hotline at 956-548-TIPS (8477).


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