Law enforcement secure the scene of a McAllen home on March 22, 2023, as investigators work a tip into a 2002 cold case. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

A three-day excavation in McAllen wrapped up Friday, but the investigation continues.

A search warrant involving a cold case was executed last Wednesday around 8:30 a.m. when the property owner, Adolfo ‘Al’ Alvarez, a McAllen attorney, opened the gate to his nearly 5-acre property.

The investigation led by the Texas Fire Marshal, Starr County Sheriff’s Office and the Rio Grande City Police Department focused on a cold case murder.

Excavators and those experienced in search and rescue, like the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office who sent an expert to the site, spanned several agencies that included the Texas Game Wardens, the Cameron County Fire Marshal, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Pharr and McAllen Fire Departments.

Excavators and other equipment to aid in the search were seen pulled into the property throughout Wednesday.

At the time, the Brooks County sheriff commented on the case.

“What it is is a 2002 case of a Mexican Mafia that was murdered and they got word that they might be buried in that specific location,” Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez said.

Official information from the three agencies leading the investigation was limited.

Robert Caples, an investigator with the Rio Grande City Police Department, said they would not comment on the object of their investigation or whether they found it.

But Caples was in disbelief that another agency who was not involved in the investigation commented.

“It was mostly inaccurate,” Caples said, referring to Martinez’ statement.

The cold case murder does not involve Alvarez, the current property owner.

“It has nothing to do with me,” Alvarez said last week.

Law enforcement secure the scene of a McAllen home on March 22, 2023, as investigators work a tip into a 2002 cold case. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

A different person owned the property around the time when the alleged crime was committed.

According to property records, Juan Daniel Favela Vasquez owned the Hidalgo County ranch known as Pride O’ Texas.

He died April 14, 2005 at the age of 34 when he was shot twice in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, as indicated by a death certificate registered with Hidalgo County.

Favela Vasquez was working on opening a casino in Monterrey with two other men, one of whom was a former captain of the highway police suspected of corruption, according to local reports by Reforma Mexico.

“Favela was being investigated by the DEA for drug trafficking on the border and in Chicago, in addition to being linked by the PGR to a drug shipment in Mexico,” a Reforma journalist wrote on April 17, 2005.

The three men were in the parking lot of a popular local eatery on April 14, 2005, when they were shot. It was suspected the target of the shooting was the former captain, not Favela Vasquez.

Favela was survived by his wife and three daughters.

Caples did not comment on the former property owner.


Law enforcement investigating cold case homicide in McAllen