Rodríguez looked into her suspects’ habits, learned their addresses by heart, looked into their friends, and followed their lovers. No matter how much was at stake, she dyed her hair, pretended to be an election official, and used family members who didn’t know what was going on to get information. She was a private investigator who worked alone to find the people who took and k*illed her daughter all over Mexico. In three years, she found and caught 10 men who were involved in torturing and ki*lling her daughter.
A scarf was found by Miriam Rodriguez while she was digging in an old, empty ranch outside of San Fernando, Tamaulias in Mexico. This was after her 20-year-old daughter Karen Alejandra Salinas Rodríguez had been taken.
The find sped up Karen’s case and let the police find more horrible bodies buried under the pile of dirt.
In the same place where the police found Karen’s femur, they also found a mass grave with the bodies of many other survivors. There was a strong chance that Miriam’s daughter had been taken by the Mexican cartel, but this k*iller was not like any other. The cartel was a group of criminals, and their violence and power had been clear for a long time. People and police in the area had been tormented by the damage they caused for decades, and it was common for a family member to disappear into the night and never come back.
With over 70,000 cases of missing people linked to drug cartels, Rodríguez had a huge problem to solve. Murder rates had gone up in Mexico, but nothing was done and no one seemed to care. When Rodríguez realized this, she decided to do something about it herself and set out on a years-long mission to find and prosecute the people who k*illed her daughter.
In 2014, the people of San Fernando were still dealing with the terrible effects of the 2011 massacre that was carried out by the Mexican cartel. Los Zetas, a group within the Gulf cartel, had brutally k*illed almost 200 people, most of whom had been taken hostage from buses. The people who were ki*lled were taken from their families and probably used for the cartel’s own gains. People who tried to fight back or run away were brutally k*illed, and their bodies were later found in mass graves spread out across the empty ranch area.
People in the area were always afraid of the cartel’s seemingly unstoppable power. As a result, many people left the area, including Rodriguez’s other child, her son Luis.
Many people, like Luis, left San Fernando to get away from the constant danger, but Karen chose to stay in the town. It was important to her that she finish school and keep helping her mom run her cowboy store, “Rodeo Boots.”
Karen was driving her truck through a rural area when two cars suddenly sped up and hit her. She was taken from her truck by armed men who forced her into their car. Karen was then taken to the Rodríguez’s house, where she was tied down with ropes while they waited for a ransom to be paid.
But their plan fell through when a family friend showed up at the Rodríguez’s house out of the blue to do some car maintenance. Kidnappers were shocked when the friend and Karen showed up out of the blue, so they decided to hold both of them hostage and ran away.
It was easy for Rodríguez and her husband to get a ransom loan from the bank because the city had so many kidnappings that the bank had special loan options for paying ransoms. The cartel made the following tough demands:
The Rodríguez family was told to leave the ransom money at a nearby health clinic and go to a nearby cemetery to wait for further instructions.
Even though they did what they were told, the couple never heard back about where their daughter was, even though they tried many times to get her back. Even met someone they thought was part of the cartel. His name was “Sama,” and he said that Karen wasn’t in their care but would help for money.
Even though she was desperate, Miriam paid the gang $2,000 to make things right, but they didn’t call her again until they needed another $500. Once more, the gang took the money and ran away.
Miriam, who had split up with her husband and was living with her older daughter Azalea, finally realized that Karen was not going to come back. The Rodríguez family did not give up hope for Karen’s safe return. The family matriarch, on the other hand, swore to herself that she would not rest until she found the people who took her daughter.
So, the first thing she did was find Sama, her “informant.”
The family friend who had found Karen and her kidnappers by accident was eventually set free. His memories of the kidnapping helped a mother look for her missing daughter a lot, even though the cartel didn’t need him.
The friend said that Sama was indeed involved in taking Karen away. With this information, Miriam searched all over social media for any clues about where her daughter was.
She looked for a long time before she found a picture on Facebook of a man who looked a lot like Sama standing next to a woman in an ice cream shop uniform. After more research, it was found that the uniform belonged to a store in Ciudad Victoria, which is two hours away.
Miriam played cat and mouse with her prey as she stalked her. She waited outside the ice cream shop for weeks until she finally found the woman who looked like Sama’s partner.
She put on a Health Ministry uniform that she had saved from a previous job to hide who she was. As if she were doing a local survey, she went door-to-door in the neighborhood to get information from people who lived there.
Miriam wasn’t ready to get even yet. Her main goal was to find answers. She hoped that by gathering as much information as possible, she could give the police enough proof to finally get justice for her daughter.
Following her investigation and gathering evidence, Miriam was able to give the police enough information to issue a warrant for Sama’s arrest on suspicion of having a hand in Karen’s kidnapping. But Sama disappeared before he could be caught.
Luis had moved to Ciudad to get away from the drug cartel. He saw Sama as he was closing his store, which could only be described as a miracle or a stroke of luck. After that, Sama was arrested and questioned, and right away he gave the police the names of other gang members who helped kidnap Karen. Zapata Gonzalez was one of them. He was an 18-year-old boy whose age shocked Miriam when he was first arrested. Miriam said that her motherly care and kindness helped the boy decide to tell her where her daughter was.
When Miriam found her daughter’s scarf at an empty ranch that was falling apart and full of bullet holes, it was a very important discovery. Several large-scale excavations were done in the area, and a lot of bodies were found. Miriam, on the other hand, didn’t want a second investigation until Karen’s femur was found. This observation would lead to the next important clue in the case.
While eating at a restaurant close to the abandoned ranch, Miriam and Azalea thought of a strange friend named Elvia Yuliza who was always trying to get away from people. A quick search on the internet showed that Yuliza had ties to the cartel because she was seeing one of the kidnappers who was already in jail and out of reach for Miriam.
The kidnapper was arrested when it was found that she had called from Yuliza’s house. Miriam kept doing her research, infiltrating, and exposing people to find Enrique Flores, a born-again Christian. She found him by getting information from his grandmother and watching him at mass at his church.
After years of looking into things, Miriam found a florist who seemed sketchy and followed them all the way to the border between Texas and Mexico. When the florist saw that Miriam was Karen’s mother, she tried to run away, but Miriam caught her and held her at gunpoint until the police arrived.
Even though the cartel and their allies made many de*ath thr*eats against Miriam, she didn’t give up on her search for justice. She finally found almost all ten of the living gang members who took her daughter three years ago, after three years of nonstop searching.
Miriam’s unwavering dedication and success in finding the people who k*illed her daughter made her famous and well-known in Mexico. Her newfound fame, on the other hand, put her at greater risk. In spite of this, Miriam didn’t go away. She kept fighting for justice on behalf of other families whose children had been missing for years in similar situations.
Miriam was always brave and dedicated to justice, which is why she was ki*lled on Mother’s Day 2017 outside of her home in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico. A few weeks before, she helped the police catch another member of the gang they thought was involved in ki*lling her daughter. Even though the Mexican government provided armed guards, the cartel’s reach was too wide and easy to get to.
Even though Miriam’s life was cut short, her selflessness and determination to help families of missing loved ones get justice live on.
Many people will always remember Miriam Rodriguez’s unwavering commitment to getting justice for her daughter and the many other victims of the drug cartel in Mexico. A plaque was put up in her honor to honor her bravery and selflessness. It will always remind us of how hard she worked to get justice. Even though she died too soon, her memory lives on as the police continue their search for and prosecution of those responsible for her untimely de*ath.