“It’s been a huge success,” said Niko Niko's owner Dimitri Fetokakis.
Fetokakis said Rodriguez-Avila’s family gave their blessing for the fundraiser and is grateful for the help they’ve already received.
The 16-year-old had worked at the restaurant since August, bussing tables and cleaning.
The owner says Rodriguez-Avila's sister, who also worked at that location, helped her sibling get the job.
“Young girl, quiet, put her head down and just did her thing,” said Fetokakis, who says he last saw Rodriguez-Avila a few days before her murder.
Rodriguez-Avila had texted her family that friends gave her a ride after work the night of Sept. 3. The next morning, a passer-by found her body dumped on a rural road east of Plum Grove in Liberty County, roughly an hour away from her job.
She was still wearing her work uniform.
Captain Ken DeFoor with Liberty County Sheriff’s Office told KHOU 11 that investigators are still looking for the person or people responsible for the murder.
“It’s terrible when someone young and like that is taken away from you,” said Fetokakis.
However, Fetokakis said Wednesday was a good day because his team and the community were able to help the family.
“I had an anonymous donor call in and say, ‘I’m gonna give $5,000. Maybe you could do the reward bigger and try to find these people,’” recalled Fetokakis.
Rodriguez-Avila’s family did not want to share a photo of the teen or speak publicly on Wednesday.
Fetokakis said they’re hoping to raise enough money to bury the teen in Honduras, where she was born.