RICHMOND, Texas (FOX 26) - A young woman, whose body was found in a burning car in Fort Bend County on Jan. 11, has been identified. A $10,000 reward is being offered to bring her killer to justice.
The body of Lorraine Diaz was discovered in the burning car on FM 762 in the Richmond area at around 1:40 a.m. on Jan. 11. She is only now being identified as the victim as a result of the condition in which her body was found. The next step? Investigators say they are determined to find the person who killed her.
"We need to catch this person," says Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office Detective Justin White. "We need to put this person behind bars”
Diaz, 21, was the mother of two children. She lived in southwest Houston but the burning vehicle her body was found in was left along an isolated stretch of FM 762 in Fort Bend County just south of a high school campus.
"When deputies arrived on location, the vehicle was fully engulfed and the fire department was there to extinguish the fire," explains Det. White, who also says Diaz was killed before the fire was set and he also says he believes she was murdered by someone she knew. "During that process they observed the body of a burned human being inside the vehicle.”
"At this time, there’s a few different suspects that are being looked at," says Det. White. "I’m not going to divulge who and relationships and things like that at this time, but we are following many leads."
More than three months after her body was found, Diaz is being identified "because of the condition of the body after being burned so badly."
"There were numerous techniques that were used to positively identify her,” says Det. White.
The reward offered to find her killer is just about as unheard of as the crime itself. Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers board member Elvia Morales says typically Crime Stoppers only offers a $5,000 reward but in this case, it’s being doubled.
"The board agreed to increase from $5,000 to $10,000 due to the type of case this is and we need help,” explains Morales. You can submit any information to Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers anonymously by calling 281-342-TIPS, by visiting www.fortbend.crimestoppersweb.com or you can download the mobile app called P3 Tips.
Investigators are not releasing how the 21-year old died but the medical examiner has ruled her death a homicide.
"The persons responsible for this are obviously very, very savage individuals to murder a mother of two and then to burn her body inside a vehicle," says Det. White. "We need them caught,”