HOUSTON (FOX 26) - For 26 years, Rosemary Diaz's family hoped that somehow she might still be alive.
“Unfortunately that hope is taken away. It's left us now to grieve and to process it and know that at least she's not suffering.” Said older sister Irma Diaz.
It was 1990.. the 15-year-old Diaz was working at a convenience store on a lonely stretch of Highway 71. She was about to leave and go home to her family, when she disappeared virtually without a trace.
In 2015 investigators got a break. Family members of a man who would later become the suspect came forward and said he had made partial confessions to each one of them. Unfortunately they couldn't question or arrest him.. he was dead.
With the help of Texas Rangers and Texas Equusearch they found bones buried in a shallow grave in Matagorda County. They found Diaz's ring with the bones. DNA results just in proved it was her, giving the family and the community closure.
“Hopefully it brings us together. Hopefully it reminds us that there are more important things than the flash bang drama happening on the news. There are small communities and towns where people still care about each other.” said Sgt. Scott Grosser.
But justice has yet to be served. With the suspect dead maybe it never will. But the Diaz family knows a thing or two about hope, they aren't giving up on getting it, and are focusing on the positive.
“She's in heaven with my father. She's been there the whole time. She's been watching us. It gives us the closure that we needed.”
The missing persons case is closed but the murder case is still open. The Matagorda Sheriff’s office is still questioning people trying to learn definitively who killed her, how, and why.