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Family: Panhandlers using photo of our dead father to solicit donations

A family says panhandlers ripped their father's photo from Crime Stoppers and they're using it for their financial gain.

HOUSTON — The sight of someone begging for money to help pay for the funeral of a loved one can be heartbreaking. This sight quickly turned to anger when witnesses realized these people are pulling off a scam.

How did they know for sure? KHOU 11 News talked to the actual family of the victim's face on that donation can. Their dad died a year ago in a hit and run that's still unsolved. His picture was ripped right from Crime Stoppers.

"That's very insensitive, that's very disrespectful," said Norma Delgado, the victim's niece.

It's hard to believe, someone else is using their loved one's picture for panhandling.

"Reaping benefits from somebody that's deceased for your own gain is appalling," she said.

A family friend spotted these panhandlers asking for funeral donations at Wallesville Road and Beltway 8. They were shocked to see them holding up a picture of someone they knew. Miguel Ramirez, Sr. was a father of five and a grandfather of 14.

"We memorialized him a year ago, last February and then all of a sudden it's bringing back all of the hardcore reliving of all of the memories of his death, how it happened, nobody coming forward," said Delgado.

"It's beyond deplorable," said Andy Kahan, Director of Victim's Services for Crime Stoppers. Kahan says he's never seen anything like it. "If you see someone out there with a Crime Stoppers flyer, understand they did not have our approval or permission to utilize that to raise any funds." 

This family just wants to catch them before they take advantage of another victim. 

"For his family it's very unsettling because it is still so raw, they never found who did it," said Delgado.

A spokesman for Harris County Precinct 6 Constable's office told us they did make contact with these panhandlers. However, because they didn't have Ramirez's picture on them, it's all still under investigation.


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