Brutal murder of pregnant Texas woman left in cemetery remains unsolved 13 years later

AUSTIN, Texas — The reward has doubled for new information that could solve the murder of a pregnant Texas woman whose remains were found in a LaSalle County cemetery nearly 13 years ago, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Valerie Benevidez Laguna was only 26 years old when her body was found at the Cristo Rey Cemetery in Cotulla on July 19, 2005. Investigators said the victim was eight months pregnant and last seen at a private residence in the early morning hours on July 19.

The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, according to investigators.

Despite an intensive investigation by the Texas Rangers and the La Salle County Sheriff’s office, the case remains unsolved.

On Tuesday, DPS officials announced the reward of $3,000 for tips has been increased to $6,000 for the month of February.

To be eligible for the cash rewards, tipsters must provide information to authorities by calling the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).  All tips are anonymous.

Individuals also can submit information through the Texas Ranger Cold Case website or by contacting us at 1-800-346-3243 (DPS Missing Persons Hotline).