Father's own work finds dead son

May 27, 2008 9:27:05 PM PDT
A Houston father is demanding answers, after what he says the Harris County Sheriff's Department didn't do when his son was killed in a car accident. He says he didn't know his son was dead until a number of days after the wreck.

Adolfo Rios, Jr. says he only found out about his son's death after he and his family did their own investigative work.

Rios, a father of four, was killed when his car skidded off of Aldine-Westfield and hit a guard rail about 5am Saturday April 12th. He was driving his father's car.

"I just can't understand why or how with all the technology that is going on around here, that they cannot put, this car belongs to this person," Rios told us.

Despite the license plate being intact after the crash, the Harris County Sheriff's Office never called Rios who owned the car. After two days of not hearing from his son, Rios filed a missing person report with the sheriff's office and still there was no information.

When he pressed for an update he says he was brushed off.

"We are not the only ones right now, there are a lot of people, a lot of accidents," he said.

It finally took searching online about recent car crashes in the area for the family to find a news report. It only listed a Hispanic male killed on Aldine-Westfield. That is only a mile and a half away from their house. Rios finally got an answer after he drove to the Harris County Medical Examiner's office.

The sheriff's office says facial trauma and the 27-year-old's out of state license made it necessary to verify his identification.

"I believe they made that through finger prints and they had to wait for finger prints to be sent back to their office," said Captain John Martin of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

But Rios says all the information they needed was a phone call away.

After finally locating his son in the medical examiners office four days later, a funeral was held the following weekend for Adolfo Rios III.

Even after his son's death, Rios is still dealing with the crash. Harris County sent him a $4,000 bill for the damage to the guard rail caused during the crash.

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