Cold cases in two Weslaco homicides reopened

WESLACO — Investigators are offering rewards for any information that could help police solve two cold cases — one of which is more than 20 years old.

“We’re reopening them and have already received a tip the same day we announced it,” Weslaco police spokesman Bernie Garza said of efforts to solve what investigators believe were the unrelated murders of 33-year-old Yolanda Moya and 35-year-old Uriel Hugo Garza.

After failing to report to work at a local farm implement company, a family member found Moya dead inside her 824 S. Louisiana Ave. home on the morning of Jan. 22, 1993.

Moya had been shot in the neck and her body was partially burned.

“She had been shot through the neck and doused in gasoline in an attempt to burn her,” Garza said.

Police reported that “hard evidence” is lacking in the case despite there being initial theories surrounding her death.

“Today, with improvements in the use of DNA, the police department thinks it is time to reinvestigate the case,” a Weslaco Police Department news release stated.

Garza added, “Somebody knows something about her. Anything, even the smallest, most trivial detail might be what we need to crack the case open.”

In the case of Uriel Hugo Garza’s death, 19-year-old Carlos Alberto Sarmiento has been identified as a person of interest in the 2013 homicide.

Sarmiento was reportedly last seen with the victim at a restaurant parking lot on Sept. 9, 2013. Uriel Hugo Garza’s body was later found on Sept. 12, 2013 inside a vacant apartment at 900 W. 2nd St. in Weslaco.

Also, the victim’s 2001 green Ford Mustang, with a license plate number of CBX7470, remains missing.

Those who provide information that can help investigators solve both cases are eligible for a cash reward, which in the Moya case is as much as $1,000.

Report tips to the Weslaco Crime Stoppers by calling 956-968-8477. Anonymity will be upheld.