HOUSTON — Houston police said a suspect has been charged in connection with the 2017 double murder of Robert Cerda and Rachel Delarosa.
It's a case KHOU 11 News has been following on our Missing Pieces series.
“I think the first thing I said was, ‘Thank you, Jesus,’” Robert Cerda's mother, Valerie Cerda, said.
It’s the most news she's heard in the four years since her son was killed.
“I’ll miss him forever. He’s kind of my best friend," Valerie Cerda said.
Her son and his girlfriend were on a date that December and were last seen on surveillance video at a gas station. The couple had just left Connie's restaurant in Spring Branch.
Robert Cerda's body was found on Bleker Street in Houston. Delarosa's body was found in Missouri City. Both had been shot to death.
“Why? I’d like to know why," Valerie Cerda said.
While the motive still remains a mystery, Houston police released a picture of a man now charged with aggravated kidnapping in connection to the murders. He’s 40-year-old Herbert Simon.
Court records show he was on parole at the time. He had been sentenced to 25 years for aggravated robbery in 2004.
“He served half of his sentence ... and that means on his first parole eligibility, he was released," said Andy Kahan, with Crime Stoppers.
While Simon was out on parole, he was also convicted for evading arrest and is now back in prison.
“From my perspective, if they had simply denied parole ... their son would be alive today," Kahan said.
Valeria Cerda hoped that seeing Simon's picture will jog someone’s memory and help piece together the rest of the story about what happened to her son and his girlfriend.
“Don’t wait until something like this happens to one of your families and then you are sitting where I am and you are wanting people to speak up. You don’t want to be in my shoes," she said.
The Cerda family said it's not giving up until everyone involved is held accountable. They’re hoping a $15,000 reward will help persuade someone to speak up.
If you can help, call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).