No new tips in Kimberly Avila disappearance

In this June 7, 2019 file photo, the family of Kimberly Avila pleads for someone to come forward with information on her whereabouts. (The Brownsville Herald)

One day after ID or Investigation Discovery featured the disappearance of Kimberly Avila from the Brownville downtown area in its Disappeared series, police received no new tips pertaining to the case.

Avila, a transgender woman, disappeared from the downtown area around 2:30 a.m. on May, 13, 2017. Avila’s family and police have been searching for Avila since the disappearance but have been unable to locate Avila.

Sgt. Billy Killebrew, spokesman for the Brownsville Police Department, said detectives had not received any calls, after the shows airing, pertaining to Avila’s case. “I spoke to a couple of detectives, and nothing had come out regarding that.”

“It is an open investigation,” Killebrew said. The police department had received tips in the past but none of them panned out. “There has been a lot of investigating going on since that time…there has actually been detectives that have been following up on leads that just come out dead; it turns out it wasn’t even true. It’s pretty tough, I understand the family is frustrated and sad.”

The Disappeared series returns to shine a light on individuals who vanished seemingly without a trace, searching for answers about the missing in order to bring closure to their loved ones, ID said in a media release.

Avila’s family had been playing a game of Loteria the night the Avila went missing. Ivone Rodarte, Avila’s sister, dropped Avila off in the downtown area and Avila has not been heard from since.

“He kissed me and said ‘I love you’ and that’s all I heard from him, Rodarte said of her brother in a June 7, interview.

The family and volunteers had placed flyers with Avila’s pictures around the downtown area but many of them had been taken down.

Rodarte Saturday said the family did not receive any calls or tips from anyone who watched the series on Kimberly and wonders if it could be that ID aired on cable and that many people don’t have cable television. “We don’t know how many people viewed it.” ID is also available on streaming devices.

Rodarte said the family will continue to push to find out what happened to Kimberly and plans to attend a City Commission meeting in the near future to seek answers from city leaders and the police department on to how the investigation is going into Kimberly’s disappearance.

“We are going to go there and ask for answers from the police department because we still haven’t gotten anything from them yet,” she said.

In 2018, Brownsville police received an anonymous call from a person who claimed to know about the case, but the caller hung up. Police quickly called for the family to hold a press conference to urge the anonymous caller to call the police department again and provide them more information.

“You had a reason to call that day and give the information you gave,” Rodarte said, flanked by family members while holding a portrait of Avila in that June 2019 press conference. “I’m begging you to call back.”

Anyone with information on Kimberly Avila should contact the Brownsville Police Department at (956) 548-7000 or Brownsville Crime Stoppers at (956) 546-8477.