LA FERIA — Police are investigating to determine whether human remains found in La Feria are those of missing Harlingen attorney Ernesto Gonzales.

The Harlingen Police Department posted a press release on Wednesday regarding a search warrant received Tuesday by the Harlingen Police Major Crimes Unit and Texas Rangers for a property along Kansas City Road in La Feria.

According to the release, during the search human remains were found and an autopsy has been ordered. Identification is still pending.

La Feria Police Chief Cesar Diaz said the La Feria Police Department is not involved in the investigation.

Sgt. Larry Moore of the Harlingen Police Department said nothing was removed from the scene except the human remains and it is an ongoing investigation.

He said no tips have been received but the warrant is in connection to Gonzales, who has been missing since July 18, 2017.

The Back Story

Gonzales filed a request for a court protective order against five extended family members July 13, 2017.

Gonzales stated to authorities he feared for his life.

His sister reported him missing July 18 and on that same day a judge in Brownsville granted a temporary protective order and set a hearing for July 27, but Gonzales never showed up.

His sister was meant to meet with him at his law office on July 18, but Gonzales never appeared, though his truck was parked outside.

“I have had to carry an unloaded pistol in my truck hidden because I fear for my life,” Gonzales said in an affidavit for the protective order.

In April 2018 Harlingen police investigators were at his law office looking into the case.

 

Surroundings and witnesses

The location for the search warrant was a property filled with horses and mules.

It is located on North Kansas City Road in La Feria.

On Wednesday police officers and crime units as well as Cameron County Public Works could be seen taking pictures and searching the scene, though the body had been removed.

David Garcia, a neighbor, said he has been living close to the property for four years.

Garcia said the police were seen for the past three days.

“We don’t mess with anyone but we have watched the news recently,” he said.

Garcia is unsure whether the remains are of Gonzales.

“We’ll find out later whose bones it is. How crazy,” he said.

Another neighbor, Audon Estrada, said he remembered watching authorities since last Sunday.

Estrada moved in May to the house to the left of the property.

Estrada said he does not know anyone from the surrounding areas and had just recently heard about an investigation.

“On Monday I saw the crime unit truck,” Estrada said.

“If I had known about this I wouldn’t have bought this house, I am worried now” he said.

Estrada said he was approached by one police officer who asked him how long he had been living in that residence.

Moore said it is an ongoing investigation and further details will be released later on.