Body ID’d as missing man

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

January 15, 2015

The body found by Border Patrol agents last Wednesday morning near a fishing pier close to Port Isabel has been identified by officials as belonging to Rogelio Martinez Palestina, who was reported missing from Laguna Heights Dec. 2.

The confirmation comes following an autopsy ordered by Cameron County Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Benny Ochoa and positive identification by Palestina’s spouse via a distinctive tattoo on his elbow. The death is being treated as a homicide according to local officials.

With the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection units, local officials had been actively seeking Palestina over the past month. Port Isabel Police Chief Gualberto “Wally” Gonzalez described the original state of the body as “badly decomposing,” making initial means of determining the cause of death difficult, but assured that all information and evidence will be gathered to make an accurate determination.

Palestina’s family members revealed that his father and paternal uncle were both killed in Veracruz, Mexico, but whether those deaths are related to what has happened to the 25-year-old hasn’t been confirmed. Initial reports have not found any signs of apparent flesh trauma or bullet punctures.

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