Real Names: Jorge Mendez and Jose Luis Rios
Aliases: Flacco (Jose)
Wanted For: Murder
Missing Since: December 23, 1995
Details: Jorge Mendez and Jose "Flacco" Rios, two East Houston street gang members, are wanted for the brutal murder of nineteen-year-old Kristi Martin in Houston, Texas in 1995. On the night of December 23, 1995, she and three schoolmates, Wendy Wright, brothers Joe and Sal Barrera, met up for the Christmas break and went to a restaurant. Afterwards, they went to hang out at the River Terrace Park, a local hangout that was at one time a safe place. However, it was no longer neutral territory, and Mendez and Rios were there which they called "their turf".
As Sal and Kristi stood outside of the car talking, a red pick up truck slowly pulled up behind them. Mendez and Rios, who were inside it, began verbally harassing them. As they tried to run away, one of the men pulled out a semi-automatic assault rifle and began shooting at them.
Kristi's friends survived with minor injuries, but she had taken a direct hit and died at the scene. Six days later, Rios and Mendez were both charged with first degree murder, and they were believed to have fled to Mexico. Authorities found that the assault rifle that was used to kill Kristi was legally bought by Mendez four weeks before her murder.
Authorities now believe that Rios was responsible another murder. In March 1996, an uncle of Mendez's was gunned down at an intersection, just two days after he told them to turn themselves in. He said that if they did not do so, he would call the police. Rios later told several people that he was responsible for Mendez's uncle's murder. They are considered armed and dangerous and a $12,000 reward is being offered in this case.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the September 6, 1996 episode. It was also profiled on America's Most Wanted.
Some sources have the victim's first name spelled "Kristie".
Results: Unresolved. In August 2000, Mendez was arrested in Mexico on unrelated charges. Authorities have requested that he be extradited back to the United States to stand trial for Kristi's murder. However, Mexican officials have not agreed to do so because of the murder charges. It is unknown if and when he will face trial for Kristi's murder.
Rios, however, remains at large; he is 5'7, 130 pounds, was born on July 5, 1976, and would now be 44 years old. Investigators believe that he now lives in Mexico, but has traveled back to Houston to visit relatives. Sometime prior to 2002, he was reportedly seen in Channelview, Texas. He has numerous tattoos, including two teardrops under his left eye, a knife sticking into a skull on his right forearm, and the outline of a cross on his left-middle finger.
- Mendez and Rios at Unsolved Archive
- AMW Discussion of Jose Rios
- Former cheerleader gunned down in secluded park
- Former cheerleader laid to rest
- Suspect found in '95 'thrill-kill'
- Jailed shooting suspect awaits extradition
- Search for killer continues
- Kristi Martin: Gone but not forgotten
- Most Wanted (includes information about Rios)
- Memorial page for Kristi Martin with descriptions of her killers