Prayer vigil set for Nahomi

SAN BENITO — It’s been nearly seven weeks and there have been no solid leads.

Reports surrounding the missing 19-year-old Nahomi Rodriguez have been all over television, radio, social media and print media.

Still nothing.

Rodriguez remains missing despite the efforts of her family, friends and local and federal law enforcement.

On Saturday, the family will hold a public prayer vigil for the safe return of Nahomi. It is the first vigil held since a few days after her disappearance on July 17.

The vigil is set for 6 p.m. on Sept. 10 at the Heavin Park Amphitheater. Anyone is welcome to attend and gather to hope for the safe return of Nahomi.

This vigil comes after a local group of men have offered a monetary reward for information that leads to finding Rodriguez and the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for her disappearance.

The case also is receiving national attention. Recently, the story of her disappearance has been posted on as part of their feature, Missing in America.

The 19-year-old has been missing since July 17 after she left her night shift at the McDonald’s located at 602 N. 77 Sunshine Strip. She appeared to leave in an SUV, believed to be a Ford Escape, with a man she knew after she told her mother she had a ride home. She never made it.

Since then, along with extensive efforts by local, state and national law enforcement, billboards with her picture were put up around the area in mid-August.

Family members met with the FBI and local law enforcement last week to further talk about the status of the case.

They continue to do all they can to locate the lifelong San Benito resident who was last seen at 1:30 a.m. that morning, just after leaving the McDonald’s.

Investigators are working diligently with local, state and federal agencies following leads all over the Rio Grande Valley and Mexico regarding this case.

Although there have been leads according to Sanchez, none has led to any findings of significance.

But there also were some scammers and pranksters who contacted the family soon after the news of Nahomi’s disappearance and demanded ransom for her return.

While those circumstances rattled the family, they are still out working to find her and have hopes for her safe return.

Last month, police released on social media a 14-second video showing Nahomi serving at the drive through the person police believe she later left the McDonald’s with.

The video shows Rodriguez at the drive-through window of the fast food restaurant filling a cup with soda.

She leans over and looks out the window and it appears she knows the driver because moments later they share a fist bump.

An electronic billboard located on the frontage road next to Harlingen Medical Center as well as one on the expressway near Stuart Place has been activated in an effort to find Nahomi.

At about 12:30 a.m., Nahomi’s family reported she told her mother, with whom she lives, that she had found a ride home.

She also apparently messaged her boyfriend that she was already home on the couch, making food before she was going to head to bed.

Although her mother waited for her to come home, she never made it.

Initial reports stated she left in a dark truck or SUV with two men.

But later, that appeared to not be the case. Instead, she appeared to have left in a light gray newer model light over dark Ford Escape, with a man she knew. That, all according to the video surveillance at McDonald’s.

“The suspect made a fist punch with my niece as soon as he approached the drive-through window,” Sanchez said. “Therefore, he knows my niece.”

The two had a conversation at the window, but it was what the family saw in the video that was disturbing.

The video shows Nahomi waiting by the front door for her ride to arrive around 1:30 a.m. and steps out of the restaurant.

Other video views in the parking lot show the same Ford Escape arriving and parking where the camera didn’t reach.

The video then shows the vehicle reverse and drive off on Washington Avenue, passing by St. Paul’s Church, Sanchez stated.