2017-05-17 / Front Page

No trace of missing woman, 30 days after her disappearance

BY ALLEN ESSEX
Reporter

The search for a local woman missing since April 18 has so far yielded no clues, but efforts to find Nora Conde Villalobos, 49, will continue, law enforcement and community leaders say.

Her status as an Army veteran was the impetus for the Raymondville American Legion post to get involved, said Post 390 American Legion Commander George Solis.

After initial search attempts by Raymondville police and Willacy County sheriff’s officers, volunteers from Willacy County and all over the Rio Grande Valley gathered at the Legion Hall to fan out across the area about 12 days after Villalobos’ disappearance, Solis said. “They had trailers with four-wheelers, canoes, kayaks and horses,” he said of the searchers gathered at a local hotel and then at the Legion hall, he said.

Even an airplane and drones have been used to search for Conde, local officials said.

“We opened up the Legion Hall to the families,” he said.

Doug Harding, who knew Villalobos from high school days in the early 1980s, is placing newspaper advertisements to try to spur more local residents into action and to boost awareness of the fact that Villalobos is still missing, he said.

“I’m just trying to get something out there.” he said. “She just vanished, it’s just weird. I went to high school with her and I’d see her around. I’ve seen her at Whataburger (where she was a shift manager) for five or 10 years.”

Harding said it is very frustrating that he has not heard anything from police or anyone about whether there are any clues to Villalobos’ disappearance. It seems strange that there is only a $1,000 Crime Stoppers reward being offered,” he said.

He is going to try to find out whether his family’s foundation (The Harding Foundation) can help but is not sure what a nonprofit foundation can do in such a case, Harding said.

“They have nothing,” he said of police who are looking for the missing woman, he said. “Somebody out there had to know something,” he said. Raymondville Police Detective Denise Ledesma said she cannot comment about any interviews or details of the case.

“We ask the public to call in with any information, she said. The department can be reached at 956-689-2441 or local residents can go to the police station at 523 W. Hidalgo Ave. across the street from the county courthouse.

Harding said he is pleading with local business owners and anyone else to purchase surveil- lance cameras, which have recently dropped in price, he said. Such equipment is available at many local stores, he said.

IN OTHER BUSINESS:

During Monday’s Raymondville City Commission meeting, City Manager Eleazar “Yogi” Garcia reported on the purchase of 43 additional surveillance cameras to be placed on city buildings and in parks and at utility plants to increase the existing system. Of the 43 cameras, 39 will be placed outside, he said. Ten computers will be part of the new equipment to supplement the city’s security, he said. Cost of the added equipment will be $86,888.

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