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NOTE - THIS PAGE CONTAINS DETAILS ABOUT A
KIDNAPPING CASE IN DALLAS AND IS NOT MEANT FOR VIEWING WITHOUT FIRST VIEWING ITS
PARENT PAGE, which can be accessed with the button below:
Sanchez Kidnapping Case
Details of Our Search Efforts
for Oscar Sanchez
Satellite Image of Area Below Annotated
with paths taken
Michael W. Smith and Phil Collins
with Sting - Adjust volume settings at bottom of this page)
Updates Regarding Case Coming Soon (August 2005) [Author: I posted this note in
August and fell ill shortly thereafter and was not able to post the updates I
had planned. After having been visited at this web site by America's Most Wanted
speaking to them about the case via e-mail, my
next step was to post on my web page that I would give all of the reward money
to the family of the final suspect who had escaped to Mexico if he would turn himself
in. Knowing this case started out of greed, I was hopeful that this final
act would cause the final suspect to turn himself in. Fortunately he was
captured before I took this step, which I was prepared to take if law
enforcement agencies felt this could help. I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the capture of the
final suspect. Thanks to the person who brought his capture to my
attention. Details and updated news articles will be appended to the
bottom of this page.]
Update! 2nd Suspect Captured by Mexican
Authorities 10/14/2005 (Article at bottom/page)
Believing there was a possibility Mr. Sanchez
was alive despite having apparently been shot, the thought of him lying in a
field somewhere hanging on by a thread and battling the elements really ate at
us. When the search was moved further East of the original search
location, I was compelled to physically search on my own to the West of where law
enforcement and volunteers were looking. No one else at that point was
looking there because the suspect in custody was relaying information via the
Chicago Police Department that were sketchy at best. The suspect in
custody was not familiar with that area and was unable to accurately describe
where Mr. Sanchez had been placed. Only limited details were released prior to
the discovery of Mr. Sanchez. The reason I searched to the West of their perimeter
is on the investigative page. I printed out a number of satellite images and maps (see
Kidnapping Details Page Link below) and went out that day looking. The day after I searched, at noon, breaking news
came on television announcing the discovery of Mr. Sanchez, who sadly was
deceased. I was preparing to go back out again that afternoon and was
finishing lunch when it came on. I was totally shocked when in the
background behind the reporter I saw the street sign and realized it was the
street I had started on. If I had 10 people with me that day we would have
found him. I had a bad cold at the time as well which didn't help.
How I came to search this area on
Wednesday, 24 hours before Mr. Sanchez was located
On Sunday, with the capture of Jose Felix in
Chicago, the case became a murder investigation and a search for the body.
On Monday Dallas Police Officials found bloody evidence including a truck bed
liner, clothes and other items apparently related to the murder investigation.
They searched that area heavily, then on Tuesday they searched the same area and
Dallas Fire Department boats traversed the Trinity River between Dowdy Ferry
Road and the I-20 Bridge. I spoke with fire fighters as they pulled their
boats from the Trinity to see what ground they had covered. I then moved
1/8th of a mile East of the Trinity River and Dowdy Ferry Road and spent the
remainder of Tuesday afternoon searching that area up to the Interstate.
While there a friend of Oscars family spoke to me. He was in a nice Pickup
truck, and we spoke for a few minutes about Oscar and right there we grasped
hands and said a prayer asking God to Bless Oscar wherever he was at. I moved
on searching East toward the Interstate. I even crossed the freeway and
got off the service road and searched for an hour north of the freeway NW of
I-20 and Dowdy Ferry Exit. Then on Wednesday
morning first thing it was announced that the search would be moved further East
of the locations we all searched on Tuesday, between that site and Highway 175.
This is where I deviated from everyone else. It did not make
sense to me. The suspects were traveling to Chicago to the East, the house
where Oscar was held was to the West in Duncanville, and I believed they
would have dropped Mr. Sanchez first, then the bed liner and other evidence, so on Wednesday I decided
to search due West of where the other evidence was found. My best friend
stopped by for lunch at my house that day, and I told him I was going to go look
for Mr. Sanchez and explained my reasoning. He told me: "Shep, that will
be like finding a needle in a haystack." His words rang in my ears several
times while I was looking that day. I went out and I searched for about 4
hours Wednesday (see map and satellite images) between noon and
4:30 to the West, after
printing out both maps and satellite images of the area due West of the location
of the initial evidence found Monday. In the middle of my search Wednesday I saw a dog on a 2 lane
blacktop road and it was barking down at the creek to the side of the road.
I got out of the car to investigate thinking it might be Mr. Sanchez and saw a
mother dog dead in the creek below. The puppy was guarding its mother, who
apparently had been hit by a car. She was half in the creek, half out.
I took some photographs (below) of the dogs, and e-mailed the Dallas Humane
Society about the dog that night - they responded and I called the next morning
to give the exact location of the animals. I am writing this part on
Thursday the next day, and about 30 minutes ago they announced they believed
they found the remains of Oscar Sanchez. I am grateful that he has been found and the family can hopefully begin
finding some sense of peace. This was such a tragedy - the man has a 2
month old baby. Tremendous loss. Below is the map where I searched.
I marked all the areas I had searched with blue ink pen in case the police
stopped me and asked where I had searched at. In trying to imagine the
criminals mindset at the time of their attempt to rid themselves of all
evidence, I felt they were probably
desperate to at least get Mr. Sanchez out of the vehicle first as that was the most
incriminating - then the other evidence. Knowing they were in a rush to get to
Chicago and to rid themselves of the evidence, it made sense that the body would
have been to the West of the evidence found, as that would have been the logical
order. My thinking would have been out the window if they had gotten lost
in that area, however, the fact that they chose that area led me to believe that
at least one of them was familiar with the area. I was surprised that Police Officials moved the search to the East
on Wednesday morning, which prompted me to move West with my search Wednesday
after lunch. I assumed that interviews with the murderer captured in
Chicago had given them reason to go East, however, the suspect did not arrive in
Dallas until 5 pm on Wednesday evening for Dallas Police Detectives to interview
directly. I also thought there was a possibility that the murderer was
confused with "I-35" interstate and "I-45" interstate, as they run parallel,
about 5 miles apart, north to south. The photos of the dogs and the e-mail
exchange with the Humane Society about the dogs below here. God Bless the
family of Oscar Sanchez and God rest his soul.
Looking back: Looking back on that day,
there were 2 dead dogs right on Cedardale Road, the first was just as your
turned on to the street there, and it was on the left. The odd thing was
that it was a dog house that look like it had either fallen out of a car or
something. It was a wrecked dog house and there was a dead dog half in and
half out of it. About 20 yards further up on the left was another dead
dog. I almost wonder looking back at it now whether the two suspects might
have placed these dead dogs there to throw dogs or volunteer searchers off of
the path. I remember a lot of dead animal smell, particularly on the first
half of my search up that road. Thought it was important for others who
might be searching for a victim or the deceased, in a homicide situation the
killers may try new means of throwing people off. (It also could be a
common dumping ground for dead animals among locals I don't know.)
UPDATE: Friday, Jan. 28, 2005 - 5:00 pm
- Went to verify the exact location where Mr. Sanchez was found when I was
unable to clarify the exact spot with local media representatives. The
body of Mr. Sanchez was left about 30 yards south of the Intersection shown in
the map further down on this page. When I was there that day I saw some
security trucks at the plant on the other side of the road, and assumed they
would have been there at night also and so did not think they would have
attempted to drop Mr. Sanchez there. It was a coincidence as I had checked
every single driveway to the left side of the road going toward 20, but the area
where Mr. Sanchez was left was barely big enough to back a pick up into. On the
map you'll note the T-intersection where the Red Circle is shown. Mr.
Sanchez was about 25-30 yards south of that intersection, on the left side, only
15 feet from the road. My thought was the killers were in a hurry and
scared and would not have taken the time to cover him up, just drop him and
flee. They did take some time to cover him up, but not enough to hide him
from a Dallas detective and volunteers from a local nursing home
searching on Thursday. While I checked every major
driveway to the left up to where Mr. Sanchez was located, I did get out of the
car and walk up into these last areas on the left prior to getting to the
T-intersection because of the security trucks across the road from location. Photos taken today follow here, and the map of my
search is after.
Thursday 1:30 pm: (One and a half hours
after breaking news report on WFAA).
Just got off the phone with volunteer Larry
Jenkins who helped find the body of Mr. Sanchez (in news video) - I appear to
have been within 10-20 feet of having found him. He was not real familiar
with this area and was only able to provide me with general area of location.
A map of my search route is below in thumbnail format - click on it to see
NOTE:Maps updated on Friday
after photographing the scene - new Blue Dot near red circle (top left) is exact
location. Areas I searched on Wednesday, the day before Mr. Sanchez was
found, are marked in blue ink.
SHIFT - CLICK
(Hold shift button
on keyboard when clicking any images on this page to open in separate window and
keep music or video playing.)
Map of All Addresses Relevant to Case: (click
thumbnail photo for full size)
Finally, satellite view with map overlay:
Mother dog - half in water, half out, and
puppy below -
The following information was added and
initiated following the advice of a close family member of mine who is a Private
Investigator. After my initial interest in the case and disclosure to him,
he began handling all of the skip trace and other online investigation with me
as we hoped to help on the case. Dallas Police officers came to my home on
the Thursday prior to pick up the information we had developed following skip
traces of the address where the suspects had held Mr. Sanchez. We had
developed information on two possible other suspects and turned that information
over to police officials.
Suspects in Case (Both now
Murderers Jose Felix (left)
and Edgar Acevedo are sought in the disappearance of
restaurateur Oscar Sanchez.
Moving Truck that appeared one week
(My family member and I thought this moving truck mentioned
on the news could be significant, and so we began attempting to locate this
vehicle. The following are our notes regarding this vehicle.)
Neighbors reported a moving truck appeared at the
kidnapping suspects house before the kidnapping and moved a bunch of boxes from
I spoke to a neighbor there by phone who saw the moving
truck and garnered additional details from him. Neighbor stated truck came
on the Tuesday prior to kidnapping, exactly a week earlier, and said it was
between 2 and 3 pm when he noticed truck while getting his mail. He
thought it was unusual that they were only packing boxes and not furniture.
He watched them loading for a while. 2 men on the porch (Hispanic) were
instructing 3 men, 1 African-American and 2 Hispanic, on what to load into the
truck. The neighbor commented on news footage he thought it was strange
they were only loading boxes and not furniture.
The truck itself was a Light Grey Moving type truck, with a
Texas plate (n/a) but definitely a Texas plate based on neighbors memory.
It had 2 wheels in the back, not 4 so maybe a 1.5 ton truck. No
descriptive markings on the vehicle at all. Based on the way occupants of
home on porch were directing the loading of the vehicle and the fact they did
not help, would seem these were hired movers and not friends or associates.
Our thought was that they ditched the white pickup truck announced on the news
and were traveling in the moving vehicle, or that they had moved the boxes to a
local mini-warehouse and maybe had Mr. Sanchez at the mini-warehouse.
We began to check on mini-warehouses in the area and
surveillance footage at convenience stores at every major intersection
surrounding the house to get a photo of the truck or possible license plate,
either driving by or refueling. We actually went to every
convenience store, gas station, grocery store and other locations that would
have surveillance cameras in an attempt to help track down the kidnappers.
I even went to the Dominos Pizza less than a mile from the house with photos to
see if they had any deliveries to that address. The neighbor felt the vehicle used to
move the stuff was about 5 years old. Date of move confirmed because
neighbor recalls his girlfriend was returning to town the next day, on
Wednesday, so the move occurred on the prior Tuesday. While going to the stores
at the intersections that day and speaking with store managers about viewing
their past weeks surveillance footage, I saw a Funeral home in Duncanville.
Feeling that the kidnappers could possibly be symbolic in the disposing of Mr.
Sanchez, I searched behind the funeral home and actually found a stolen car
hidden in the woods behind the funeral home. I contacted Duncanville
officers who responded to the scene. The car was hidden under a bunch of
tree limbs and brush back in the woods. The only reason I saw it was
because the bumper was showing and reflecting light it was buried in tree limbs
so well. Although stolen, the vehicle was empty and not related to the
Truck Similar to one owned by suspect
One of many news articles regarding the case
- this one was 2 days after the abduction.
Cops seek truck in kidnap case
Police looking for white
Chevy, owner of home they raided 11:39 PM CST on Thursday,
January 20, 2005
By JASON TRAHAN / The
Dallas Morning News and ERNESTO LONDONO / Al Dia
Police on Thursday were searching for a pickup missing from a
Duncanville home where they believe a kidnapped restaurateur may have been
held and harmed. A man who owns the home and the pickup also is missing
and is wanted for questioning.
A helicopter search of Duncanville and surrounding areas failed to find
signs of Oscar Sanchez, 30, whose family owns La Calle Doce and El
Ranchito restaurants. Kidnappers were last heard from Tuesday night, hours
before police raided the house only to discover bloody evidence of a
struggle within the home.
Authorities now believe the attackers are driving a white 2004
Chevrolet Silverado half-ton extended-cab pickup registered to the home's
owner, Jose Felix. Dallas Independent School District officials say he was
a teacher for the district and has not reported to work since Nov. 22.
The victim's relatives have said they think a former El Ranchito
employee, an immigrant with multiple aliases who has ties to Mr. Felix,
could be a captor. Neither the employee nor Mr. Felix have been named as
suspects, but they are among several people whom police want to question.
Mr. Sanchez was abducted Tuesday morning when a white sedan rammed the
back of his Honda Civic a few blocks from his home.
The car was found abandoned at the intersection of Canty Street and
Kidnappers contacted the family repeatedly Tuesday, when they asked the
victim's mother, Laura Sanchez, for a large ransom for her son's safe
return. But no one showed up at an agreed-upon drop point in Arlington
"I think the family is frustrated, as any family would be frustrated in
a situation like this," said Terry Hart, a family attorney. "The family is
cooperating with law enforcement agencies. Our hope is to get Oscar back."
Family members remained hopeful Thursday that Mr. Sanchez would be
found alive, but they declined to comment publicly.
Police have revealed no motive for the abduction of Mr. Sanchez, who
controls much of his family's business, but they said they had their first
major break in the case when they followed tips and traced ransom calls to
a house in the 300 block of Royal Avenue in Duncanville.
SWAT officers raided that home early Wednesday and found no one there.
They did find signs of a struggle and carried out bags of evidence.
The family has provided DNA samples, and tests are being conducted to
determine whether blood in the home belonged to Mr. Sanchez.
Police also towed two cars from the scene, including a white sedan
believed to have been used in the abduction, but a white Chevrolet pickup
normally parked there was missing.
Detectives found the truck's paperwork Thursday during a second search
of the house and are seeking that vehicle.
Police say the Texas license plate could be 10JRK1 or 9SWD73.
Donald Claxton, DISD spokesman, said late Thursday that a teacher named
Jose Felix, who has been with the district since August 2003, hasn't been
to work since Nov. 22. Mr. Claxton did not say where he taught.
It is believed he is the same Mr. Felix sought by police.
Mr. Felix had put in for a leave of absence, but it had not yet been
approved, the spokesman said.
"We're moving to terminate," he said.
Mr. Sanchez graduated from Dallas' Booker T. Washington High School for
the Performing and Visual Arts and the University of Texas at Austin. He
lives in north Oak Cliff with his wife and newborn baby.
A search of public records found no criminal history for Mr. Sanchez.
On Thursday, the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association and Schepps
Dairy, as well as other donors, offered a reward of $42,500 for
information leading to the arrest and indictment of Mr. Sanchez's captors.
Anyone with information about his abduction or the missing white truck
is urged to call Dallas police at 214-671-3584.
News reports on story from start to end of
kidnapping (if background music playing you can leave on at low volume and
still hear the video below, or, press the Red X or Stop button at the top left
of this window first, or go to
the bottom of this page and stop music then start video):
Dial Up Slow Speed Internet Version
News 8 WFAA News Report on Discovery:
Link not working as of Aug. 2005. See above full video segments as they
will always work. They contain the story from start to finish. This
footage enabled me to locate the exact spot where Mr. Sanchez was found and to
take the photographs below.
2nd Suspect Captured Friday 10/14/2005—would have
been Oscar Sanchez's 31st Birthday
American fugitive detained in Mexico
The nine-month search for a man wanted in the abduction and slaying
of a Dallas restaurateur ended with an arrest in a Mexican resort town Friday.
Mexican federal authorities captured Edgar "Richie" Acevedo in Cabo San Lucas
and were preparing to take the 25-year-old former waiter at an Oscar Sanchez
family restaurant to Mexico City, Dallas police said.
FBI Special Agent Lori Bailey confirmed the arrest, but would not discuss
Sanchez was kidnapped the morning of Jan. 18 in what police believe was a
staged car wreck in Dallas. His body was found in a field in southern Dallas
about a week later.
Police say Jose Felix, a former teacher, was Acevedo's accomplice in the
kidnapping and slaying.
In the weeks following the slaying, Felix was captured in Chicago. He was
about to board a plane to Guadalajara, Mexico, where Acevedo had flown a day
earlier. Felix's trial on capital murder charges is set for Jan. 30.
Bailey said Acevedos' arrest came as the result of a provisional warrant
forwarded to Mexico from U.S. authorities for "unlawful fight to avoid
"So the process will start to bring him back to Dallas to face murder
charges," she told The Dallas Morning News in the newspaper's online editions
Mexican protection consul Luis Lara said that he didn't have information
about Acevedo's arrest, but that an extradition process could be lengthy because
Acevedo could make use of a legal resource protecting people from being
Lara said that the Mexican government doesn't extradite people who could face
the death penalty in the United States. (Site Author: my
understanding, if correct, is that Texas officials will have to agree not to
give him the death penalty for Mexico to turn him over to US. He can get a
life sentence, just not the death penalty, again, if I am correct. This
was how it used to be and may still be.)
Mexico confirms arrest in restaurateur death
October 29, 2005
The Mexican Attorney General's Office has confirmed that the man
accused of killing a member of a prominent Dallas restaurant family
in Dallas has been transferred to a Mexico City jail while he awaits
extradition to the U.S. Edgar "Richie" Acevedo is accused of
kidnapping and killing Oscar Sanchez, whose family owns El Ranchito
and La Calle Doce. Mexican authorities now say Mr. Acevedo was
arrested Oct. 14 in Nuevo Leon, not in Cabo San Lucas as they first
reported. U.S. federal agents have yet to confirm details about Mr.
Acevedo's incarceration. "We cannot confirm any of that, and we have
not confirmed anything about where he was arrested, where he's at or
when he's coming back", said Lori Bailey, an FBI agent in Dallas.
Jose Felix, a former teacher at the Dallas school district, has also
been arrested in connection with Mr. Sanchez's death in January.
TURN IT OFF by Phil Collins with Sting
While I sit here trying to think of things to say Someone lies bleeding in a field somewhere So it would seem we've still got a long long way to go I've seen all I wanna see today
While I sit here trying to move you anyway I can Someone's son lies dead in a gutter somewhere And it would seem that we've got a long long way to go But I can't take it anymore
Turn it off if you want to Switch it off it will go away Turn it off if you want to Switch it off or look away
While I sit and we talk and talk and we talk some more Someone's loved one's heart stops beating in a street somewhere So it would seem we've still got a long long way to go, I know I've heard all I wanna hear today
Turn it off if you want to (turn it off if you want to) Switch it off it will go away (switch it off it will go away) Turn it off if you want to (turn it off if you want to) Switch it off or look away (switch it off or look away)
Switch it off Switch it off
Switch it off
Switch it off
Switch it off
Switch it off
Switch it off
Turn it off
to Adjust Volume and start/stop media player
SCENES OF LOCATION WHERE
MR. SANCHEZ WAS FOUND FOLLOW
A few days after the Police cleared the
scene I went back to try and figure out how I missed him that day. With
two dead dogs within the first 30 yards of the road where he was at, the stench
of these animals was strong. It made me wonder if the dogs may have been
placed there to throw searchers and dogs off.
The three pink flags
indicate the location of Mr. Sanchez
Location in proximity to the
T-intersection (street sign in distance to right, I-20 in background)
View looking back the other direction, away
from I-20 - this was how close I came - I had actually gone into every clearing
up to this point but did not enter this one due to security vehicles across the
road (to left in photo below) and due to the small size of this clearing.
The other ones were large enough for me to drive into - this one was barely
large enough for a vehicle to pull into.
View from road as you drove
by, Mr. Sanchez was to left of debris 15 feet in, 8 feet to left of pile you
Another shot of scene - if you walked into
clearing to dark brush pile seen above, turned left, this is where it was.
I really can't believe I missed him but am grateful he was found within 24 hours
of my having been there. I would have been pretty upset if I had been that
close and he had not been found for many days or weeks. This was the
street where I started at, and then branched out to other areas. The map
link I've included below shows my exact path that day.
no man put asunder what God hath joined together."