Texas Mom of 3 Is Found Dead, Ex-Husband Charged

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
August 10, 2020US News
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Texas Mom of 3 Is Found Dead, Ex-Husband Charged
Melissa Banda (GoFundMe)

A Texas mother who went missing earlier this month was found dead, said officials, who added that her former husband was arrested in connection to the case.

Melissa Banda, 37, of Hidalgo County, was last seen on Friday, Aug. 7, as she was been forced into a white SUV that was rented by her ex-husband Richard Ford, according to a news release from the McAllen Police Department, as reported by KRGV.

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to People that Banda was allegedly kidnapped by her estranged husband, Richard Ford. In a release, it confirmed that her body was most likely found dead near FM 493.

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office added that it is investigating her death. “HCSO Major Crimes Unit will take lead on the Capital Murder Investigation,” Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra wrote on Twitter.

“Upon arrival, officers were informed that male suspect(s) ‘forced female [victim] … and put her in … SUV,'” McAllen Police officials said. They noted that Banda had a protective order against Ford.

“The victim reported ‘her ex-husband, Richard Ford … called her … [that] morning … when answering the call Richard stayed quiet on the line … there is currently a protection order which prohibits him from making any contact with her,'” police said.

Ford was tracked to South Padre Island, Texas, and was arrested near the beach, officials said. He was charged with aggravated kidnapping, and his bond was set at $2.5 million, officials told People.

A GoFundMe that was set up for Banda’s family noted that she had three children. It’s not clear if Ford is the father of the children.

It’s unclear if Ford has an attorney.

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