Missing man's house burns, tipster goes missing and has home burnt too: Where is Emmanuel Perez?

Family of 39-year-old Emmanuel Ramos Perez are looking for help nearly a year into a twisting mystery that started when Emmanuel stopped making his daily appearance at his Northside neighborhood convenience store.

"He's not perfect, I'm not perfect, but everybody deserves closure," says Tomasosito Perez, Emmanuel's brother who spoke with family to FOX 26 anchor Kaitlin Monte outside that store on Airline and Burres Street in Houston.

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"He'd come here every day," says Emmanuel's sister Rita Perez, who says the last time family saw Emmanuel was April 13, 2021. When they stopped by the store, the convenience store clerk hadn't seen him either.

Family says Emmanuel does not have cellular service, but stayed in touch online. They claim they never went more than two days without hearing from him or spotting him in his neighborhood. When he went silent, they stopped by his home two blocks from the convenience store.

"He uses tablets and phones and stuff to be on WiFi," his brother Tomasosito explains. "They were still there in the drawer where he keeps all his little things. My wife had seen him two days prior. She saw the pants he was wearing. Buckee's sleeping pants. Those pants were also in the drawer."

The family says it did not appear Emmanuel had packed a bag or planned to be gone long. 

"If he were to leave he would take the majority of his belongings," explains his cousin Ray Reyna.

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Three months later, another mystery: the family gets a call from Emmanuel's neighbors saying they heard loud pops in his home. "The lady next door, she's real old, but she says two people running from the house."

The family discovered Emmanuel's home had been set on fire. While they hope it was simply some kids playing with fireworks, in what they may have thought was an abandoned building, they worry something more malicious occurred.

"As soon as people start coming and asking questions and wondering where he is, people are trying to cover up something," worries Victor, Emanuel's cousin, who lived in the home as a child.

"It's really stressful on the mind and the heart," says Ray Reyna, another nephew of Emmanuel. "It's really painful to think about your family member being hurt."


The biggest tip family has received thus-far was from a friend who told them to search the bayou. The family claims they've searched extensively along the Houston waterways. Then, not long after that tip came in, that friend was also reported missing. FOX 26 has learned that tipster's home was also found to have been set on fire.

"I think the worst part of the whole scenario is that you hear all these stories about bodies being found, and you just don't know what to think," says Reyna.

The family does think a relative of theirs may be involved based on ties to both Emmanuel and the man who gave the tip. But, they need the communities help to find the right clues to close the case. 

FOX 26 spoke to an arson investigator tied to the case who knew about the person in question but explains there is not yet enough evidence to formally link that person to both fires. 

"I do right. I've always done right so when I need help someone will give it to me. So, if they could please come forward and give some type of information, I would greatly appreciate it," says Tomasosito.

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Emmanuel has a big star with the numbers 713 tattooed on the back of his head, and a star tattoo near his eye. He also has multiple other tattoos throughout his body.

Experts at the Texas Center for the Missing say the most effective way to help a family is to share the story of their loved one. FOX 26 will keep this article updated with developments to create a central place for community members to share details and track the case. Now, it's your turn to post and spread the word.

Think you have a clue? Contact the Texas Center for the Missing. As for the man who gave the tip and also went missing, FOX 26 is scheduled to speak with his mother soon. You'll find that story, and all our past profiles, on The Missing section of FOX26Houston.com.