HARLINGEN — The family of 19-year-old Nahomi Rodriguez gathered yesterday to pray for her.
Her aunt, Enedina Sanchez, said human remains found near Rio Hondo last week are those of Nahomi, missing since July 2016.
Law enforcement authorities are not confirming whether the remains have been identified.
Harlingen Police Chief Jeffry Adickes declined to comment on the case yesterday.
However, Adickes said he was planning a joint press conference today with all of the agencies involved in both cases, meaning the Nahomi missing person’s case and the case of the remains. Those agencies include Harlingen police, Cameron County Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office and Texas Rangers.
Sanchez said Harlingen police told her Nahomi was identified through dental records.
She said the family was gathering yesterday.
“All I can say is, we’re gathering, we’re praying, we’re in shock, we’re in disbelief,” Sanchez said.
“We were all wishing for a different outcome. But at the same time, it’s our closure our family needed.”
Sanchez has been at the forefront in the search for Nahomi.
The 19-year-old has been missing since July 17, 2016, after she left her night shift at the McDonald’s located at 602 N. 77 Sunshine Strip in Harlingen.
She appeared to leave in an SUV with a man she knew after she told her mother she had a ride home. She never made it.
“I gave it 150 percent. We were out there day after day in the hot sun …” Sanchez didn’t finish the sentence as she broke down to near tears.
She said she will be at today’s press conference to represent the family.
“I think you will have complete and full details then,” she said.
Sheriff Omar Lucio said yesterday he has not released any new information about the case. He said “the best thing to do” would be to attend today’s news conference.
The remains were discovered Thursday near a canal at Centerline Road and FM 106 east of Rio Hondo.
Since Nahomi’s disappearance, along with extensive efforts by local, state and national law enforcement agencies, billboards with her picture were put up around the area and a $5,000 reward was offered for information on her whereabouts.
July 17, 2016 — Nahomi is last seen leaving McDonald’s
Aug. 18, 2016 — HLN Network’s Nancy Grace posts plea for help to Facebook
Aug. 30, 2016 — $5,000 reward offered
Sept. 10, 2016 — Family holds public prayer vigil
Thursday — Human remains found near Rio Hondo