Remains discovered in a canal late last week have been positively identified as missing Texas teen Nahomi Rodriguez, who disappeared in July.
A set of bones were uncovered by a farmer working on the canal last Thursday. On Saturday, using dental records, authorities positively identified the remains as belonging to Nahomi.
The case is now being investigated as a homicide.
"There was a lot of evidence recovered at the scene," Harlingen Police Chief Jefferey Addickes said at a press conference Monday. "We are very hopeful that -- bringing Nahomi home -- that we find the person or persons responsible."
Several members of Nahomi's family spoke at the press conference Monday. Nahomi's father, Ramiro Rodriguez, who spoke with Dateline last summer about his daughter's disappearance, asked for anyone with information to come forward.
"We need help. Anybody -- somebody knows something. We need her friends’ help to get to the bottom of this," Ramiro told several reporters outside. "Somebody knows something. That’s it."
Nahomi's family has been extremely active in their search for Nahomi since the teen disappeared on the night of July 17, after leaving work at a McDonald’s in Harlingen, Texas.
"This has been a very difficult case since day one," Enedina Sanchez, Nahomi's aunt, said. "I want this day to be focused on that we have: a major case here. We have a person, a young teenager, who went missing and someone is responsible for this."
Authorities are still searching for the person who was captured on security video pulling into the McDonald’s parking lot the night Nahomi vanished. Nahomi can be seen in the video heading toward the grey or light-colored SUV. She then walks out of camera range.
Investigators believe that same person and vehicle are captured on video from a camera inside the fast food restaurant. A man in a white cap with a black shirt pulls up tothe drive-through window. It appears the man and Nahomi know one another. Nahomi can be seen giving the unknown man a fist-punch.
The driver of that car is being characterized as a person of interest in the case, authorities said.
Nahomi's aunt, Enedina, spoke directly to the person responsible for Nahomi's death at the press conference Monday.
"I just want to let you know that-- whoever you are -- trust me: These gentlemen back here will be looking for you," Nahomi's aunt Enedina said. "We will find you."
Anyone with information regarding the case is urged to call the Harlingen Police Department at (956) 425-8477.
Nahomi was featured in Dateline’s Missing in America online series shortly after she disappeared.