Missing Pieces: Family's plea to find father's killer

A father was murdered and attacked minutes from home in the middle of the street. Houston Police are looking for anyone with information in the 2014 murder of Pedro Diaz.

A father was murdered and attacked minutes from home in the middle of the street. Houston Police are looking for anyone with information in the 2014 murder of Pedro Diaz.

His snow cone shop, Refresqueria Azteca Chill, off I-45 and Aldine Bender Road in north Houston, was an escape from the hot Houston sun. It was also the last place Diaz was seen alive.

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Diaz was a charming man who for 30 years you could find behind the wheel as a metro bus driver around town. After hours, he didn't stop. Diaz ran the family business.

"He would always tell me, if you love what you do, you're not working," said Paula Sparks, his daughter.

Sparks says he grew up in Monterrey, Mexico, and the shop was his American dream.

"He had always sponsored soccer team. There were a lot of children in the area," she said.

That's why this daughter couldn't figure out why her dad wound up dead.

"It's like waking up every day to a nightmare. Knowing that my son will never know my dad," she said.

It was June 20, 2014. Houston Police found Diaz shot to death in the 100 block of Mill Stream. It was around 9:30 p.m. Diaz was driving home after closing up the snow cone stand. Investigators say for some reason, he stopped and got out his mini-van. Then a neighbor heard yelling and gunfire in the street.

"They didn't take anything, they didn't take money, they didn't take his vehicle, they didn't take his cell phone," Sparks said.

Soon the family would get troubling news about recent crime in the neighborhood, leaving them with more questions. They learned another person was mugged on the same street.

"My heart tells me there is a connection," Sparks said.

However, detectives say the men arrested for the mugging didn't match these sketches. They were two black men, and the eyewitness said the men who came after Diaz were Hispanic.

"In the report, the witness says she overhears someone say in Spanish...'What do you want with me?'" said cold case detective Ramon Cervantes.

That got Cervantes thinking it could have been a random act of violence.

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"Were they in the roadway, as we often see this new generation no regard to a car coming down the street and if you honk at them, they look at you as if you're in the wrong," Cervantes said.

As night falls in the neighborhood, you can often find the Diaz family at a memorial they erected for their dad.

"If they killed my father, I think they would do it again," Sparks said.

As they wait for the case to be solved, they keep his memory alive by sharing stories with his grandchildren.

"My oldest niece one day told me, 'I think God needed a funny bus driver in heaven,' and I said, 'Do you think so?' And she said, 'Yeah, because Grandpa was really funny, and he was a good bus driver,'" she said.

Now this family is hoping someone can help solve his murder for them.

Diaz's family says he didn't have any enemies. There was no disgruntled business partner; he started the snow cone stand by himself.

Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. If you can help, call (713) 222-TIPS. All callers can remain anonymous.