Missing Person's Dangerous Occupation NOT a Factor In Case, Family Fears the Worst

Brownsville, TX - Missing flyers can be found on every block in downtown Brownsville, the area where Kimberly Avila was last seen. Her legal name is Ramiro Avila but lives as a woman and frequently visited bars in the downtown Brownsville area as a commercial sex worker.

According to previous reports by News Center 23’s Derick Garcia, her family told police she was dropped off Friday, May 12th, there has been no communication with her and the family’s numbers on the flyer are no longer in service. 

"She does not know if he's still alive if he's not alive. If they are hurting him [or] not hurting him. That is what is killing my parents " said Ivone Rodarte

Rodarte reported her brother missing and was the last family member to see Avila. She confirmed her brother worked the downtown area for years. The missing person flyers have been ripped off the walls, "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?"

The Texas Department Of Public Safety has classifications for missing persons cases; Amber is children under the age of 17, Silver is for 65 years of age and older, blue is for suspects accused of killing or seriously injuring an officer or are public threat and Endangered Missing Persons are for those with an intellectual disability. 

Kimberly’s case does not fall under the DPS classifications, Eddie Garcia with Brownsville Police has handled missing persons cases before, in his experience tips from the public can play a big role, “people can even end up getting a cash reward.”

Kimberly was last seen wearing a black dress, high heels and a black wig, the same clothes in the last photo taken of her is on the missing flyer, “every case is different. No cases are alike and that's why the community’s participation helps us locate these missing people.”

News Center 23 spoke one-on-one with Brownsville Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez in regards to the case. Chief Rodiguez confirmed, Kimberly's dangerous occupation is not playing a role in the investigation but is a concern "The reality is we don't have a lot missing persons per se this is going to be one of those, I am not going to sugarcoat this, it is one of those that is really concerning to me because of the lifestyle of this individual and the fact that he was associated with people that are not conducive or cooperative with law enforcement."

The poor relationship between commercial sex workers and police is not aiding the investigations, "As a matter of fact we've reached out to a couple of persons in this investigation who were wanted themselves." said Chief Rodriguez. Earlier this year 10 people were arrested for prostitution in the downtown area,"so that scared the fish away for lack of a better term so here come the police addressing this Vice and then now they are coming to us for help."

Chief Rodriguez also added privacy rights are playing a role, "law-abiding citizens go missing and we look at some terrible outcomes there. people minding their own business people walking down the street. There is not going to be a difference in saying 'we suspect this because of the kind of conduct she was involved in so that is not really going to be a factor or a red flag." 

Meanwhile, the family is asking for help from other agencies. Currently alert systems with increased support are designated for children, elderly, individuals with disabilities and law enforcement officers. There is no alert or immediate support in missing person cases for people who are statistically more inclined to being the victim of a crime because of their gender identity or occupation with the exception of law enforcement. 

According to the FBI’s last reported hate crime statistics - of the 1,263 victims targeted due to sexual-orientation bias: 62.2 percent were victims of crimes motivated by their offenders' anti-gay (male) bias.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Brownsville Police at 956-546-TIPS.


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