JACINTO CITY, Texas — Jacinto City police are releasing a new surveillance video in the case of a man who went missing on New Year's Eve in 2019.
Mariano Medina-Funes was 36 at the time and his family told KHOU 11 News they are desperate for answers.
“Devastating – that’s the word. It’s heartbreaking," Medina-Funes' sister, Victoria Acosta, said.
He was last seen outside his apartment complex on Challenger 7 Drive. Acosta said she talked to her brother earlier that evening.
“He told me he bought fireworks so he could go and play with my kids," she said.
However, what was supposed to be a celebratory night, quickly turned to panic.
“He called his common-life wife, and he made the statement, 'They got me, they got me, and I need help,' and then the phone hung up," Lt. Dennis Walker said.
Walker was the original detective on the case. He believes there was foul play and said the car involved is a key piece of evidence.
“This car is very distinctive: It’s a black Cadillac with chrome wheels," he said.
A half-hour after that car drove away with Medina-Funes, it made a stop at a convenience store. Detectives got their first look at a man they are calling a person of interest.
“We need your help," Walker said.
He's hoping the video will generate tips and get help for a family that just wants to know the truth about what happened to their loved ones.
“Not knowing if he is alive or if he is dead ... it really hurts," Acosta said.
Several agencies have been working on the case. The Jacinto City Police Department said it has been assisted by the Houston Police Department and the Texas Rangers.
If you recognize the car or the person in the video, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).