UPDATE: On June 21, 2022, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office announced on their Facebook page that at 11:46 a.m., they “observed the body of a lifeless male who was in an advanced state of decomposition,” in Elsa, Texas. The next day, Jim’s sister Monica Hall also posted on Facebook, saying the “news has been extremely hard and emotional for all our family and friends.” She added that “on behalf of the Rodriguez family, we thank all our friends and family that reached out to us to express their condolences and prayers.”
On June 23, the sheriff’s office posted an update stating that they had recovered a family photo of Jim with the body, and “a debit card containing his name in the pants pocket.” The post noted authorities are still awaiting DNA and autopsy results to confirm the identity of the body.
“He sees somebody that needs help, and he goes,” Monica Hall said of her brother Jim Rodriguez.
It’s been over two weeks since the 40-year-old was last seen in Edinburg, Texas on May 23, 2022. Jim was last heard from the next day. “It’s just all a mystery,” Monica told Dateline.
Monica said it’s unusual for Jim not to be in contact with the family for this long, as they are close-knit and always check up on each other. “There was not a day that went by without communication,” she said. But Monica hasn’t heard from her brother in weeks.
Monica grew up in Edinburg, Texas, with her six siblings. Jim was the youngest and Monica was the protective older sister. “If he needed something, he knew he could always call me,” she said.
Monica told Dateline that, early on, she knew her brother was something special. “There was an accident he had witnessed,” Monica remembered. She said Jim immediately jumped in to help someone stuck in a car with a smashed-in door. “I don’t know where the strength came from,” she said. “He was able to open the door.”
But Jim wasn’t just muscle. Monica told Dateline he was extremely kind, too. “He’s a very caring person,” she said. And hardworking. “He would help build schools, commercial buildings.”
Monica told Dateline that Jim did masonry work and that in 2019, he moved to Washington for some job opportunities. “It was kind of hard for him,” she said. “He was away from his kids.” Jim has three boys.
In 2021, Monica said Jim returned to Texas when he couldn’t find any more work in Washington and temporarily moved in with one of his children’s mothers, Jackie. Monica told Dateline the two had a good relationship and were co-parenting their child, Nolan.
By May 2022, Jim was no longer staying with Jackie and Nolan. Instead, he was living alone on a property his mother owns nearby. The three of them went out for dinner on May 23, 2022. “He took his son and Jackie to go eat,” Monica said. “That was the last time she and her son saw him.” In fact, it was the last time anyone saw him.
Monica said Jackie told her she received a call from Jim the next day. “It was storming,” Monica told Dateline. “He called her just to check up.” But then Monica said Jackie told her Jim said something troubling. “He told her, ‘Make sure you and Nolan leave the house, because they may find you.’”
Monica told Dateline that Jim believed someone from his past in Washington followed him to his hometown. “He felt like he was being followed by those people in Washington,” Monica told Dateline.
According to Monica, Jim told his friends and family that while living in Washington, a girl he was dating was in a cult. “They did organ trafficking,” Monica remembered hearing her brother say. “She had made a comment to him that she was going to take his heart.” She said that Jim believed they were coming after him.
Monica told Dateline that she is unsure if her brother was really being followed. “I don’t know Washington,” she said. “You know, there’s a lot of weird stuff that happens over there.” She added Jackie told her Jim seemed “perfectly normal” the last time she saw him.
But during that May 24 phone call, Jim was not acting normal. Monica said that Jim told Jackie that the people in Washington found him. Jim hasn’t been heard from since. “He had turned off his phone,” Monica said.
Monica said she called the police on May 25 and asked them to perform a welfare check on her brother. She said when police arrived at his residence, Jim was nowhere to be found. The next day, Monica filed a police report.
Monica told Dateline that she, her older sister Norma, and Jackie went searching for Jim on their own. “We went looking for him,” she said. Finally, on May 31, they found something. “I actually spotted his truck,” Monica said.
“I mean, obviously, I got excited,” Monica said. They found Jim’s truck, a grey Dodge Ram, in a Walmart parking lot in Elsa, Texas, about 15 minutes away from Edinburg. She said they went inside the Walmart to look for Jim. “I went to the front and asked for the manager,” Monica told Dateline. “I said, ‘Can you please page my brother? His name is Jim Rodriguez.’”
The manager agreed to page him, but Jim never responded. Monica told Dateline that Jim loved his truck and cherished it. But when they looked inside, he still had days-old trash in it and his things were gone. “We called the authorities,” Monica said. “They pretty much took over at that point.”
The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Jim’s disappearance. Their public information office told Dateline that the investigation is active and directed us to their Facebook Page. The post says that, “Rodriguez's vehicle has been found and recovered by the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office pending investigation.” It adds that, “Rodriguez remains entered as a missing person.”
Monica said her family will continue to search for her brother and spread the word of his disappearance because that’s what he’d do for them. “He was always helping people out,” Monica told Dateline.
Jim is described to be around 5’6” tall, 180 lbs. with dark curly hair. He has a broken arm, a cauliflower ear and, according to Monica, “He’s always smiling.” When he was last seen on May 23, Jim was wearing a black jacket, a black cap, and a black bandana around his neck.
Anyone with information on Jim Rodriguez’s whereabouts is asked to call the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office at 956-383-8114.