20 years later, Robert Rocha murder still cold case

Rocha Family

POSTED: Friday, June 20, 2014 - 8:49pm

UPDATED: Saturday, June 21, 2014 - 1:17pm

The family of a man brutally murdered 20 years ago said not a day goes by that they don't desperately search for answers.

They, along with Dona Ana county Sheriff's officials are once again asking for help to find his killer.

Robert Rocha's family said even after 20 years, not a day goes by that they don't feel the pain from losing such a huge part of their lives.

That loss is but one of the reasons Dona Ana County Sheriff's and Las Cruces Crime Stoppers are stepping up their efforts to solve his murder.

"Help us,” said Becky Garibay, Rocha’s sister. “I know it is hard, but it is harder for us to live 20 years without closure."

Exactly two decades ago Friday Robert Rocha headed down to the Rio Grande River, just outside of Las Cruces, to look for a nice place to have a party for his niece.

A trip from which he never returned.

"This is the last place that he saw, the way they just left him," said Garibay.

Rocha was found next to his truck, shot to death. He was 43-years-old.

"They just didn't take his life, they took our life too,” said his daughter Stephanie Horton. “We didn't get to share all of those moments, and our children don't have a grandfather. It is hard."

Since then, investigators have interviewed more than 200 people who might have had a connection to Rocha or who might know what happened to him on that summer day.

Still, officials are missing key pieces to the puzzle that would help close the case.

"I know something, but I don't think it makes that much difference. Well, it makes a difference to us. It may not make a difference to them, but to us it does. This might be one of the dots we are trying to connect," said investigator Lee Medina.

On Friday, the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office and Rocha's family joined forces again to anyone with information to come forward.

"Anybody out there that knows, please call Crime Stoppers to help us," said Garibay.

Crime Stoppers has offered to pay for several digital billboards that feature Rocha's case.

"Generate some information. Maybe get to someone's conscious. Possibly we have already talked to the individual who knows or may have even been involved,” said investigator Mike Ulsh. “We just need them to finally come forward and bring closure to this case, especially for the family."

Officials hope this new effort can finally solve the case, but until then, for his family it's another day of not knowing what happened to Robert Rocha all those years ago.

"Just put yourself in our shoes,” said Rocha’s daughter, Nicole Rocha. “Have some sympathy. Give us the closure and the peace of mind that we have been wanting for so long."

Rocha's case won’t be the last one featured, in the near future, the digital boards will also feature other cold cases from Dona Ana Sheriff's Office and Las Cruces Police Department.

If you know anything about this case, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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