Burned skeleton found in BBQ pit identified as woman missing since 2017

Jessica Willey Image
Thursday, July 6, 2023
Skeleton found in BBQ pit identified as woman missing since 2017
Miranda Rodriguez, a woman who disappeared before Hurricane Harvey, was identified as the skeleton found burned in a Houston BBQ pit, police say.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The burned skeletal remains found in a backyard BBQ pit last July have been identified as belonging to Miranda Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, 24, was reported missing in August 2017. Her family last heard from her right before Hurricane Harvey flooded the city, and ABC13 was with her parents as they searched for her in the days following the storm.

On July 12, 2022, a man hired to clean up the backyard at a home on Peach Creek Drive in southeast Houston found the bones, described as a full skeleton, in a built-in BBQ pit. Investigators said the bones had been burned.

"It's like a lost soul out there, and nobody found it until now," the man told ABC13 at the time.

SEE MORE: Man working in backyard finds burned remains in BBQ pit, police say

The identification took almost a year. Houston police confirm that over the weekend, they notified Rodriguez's father.

A family member told ABC13 they are shocked and that they had always hoped she would be found alive.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences lists both cause and manner of death as "undetermined."

Police say the investigation is ongoing.

WATCH: Man describes moment he found remains in BBQ pit in SE Houston: 'I never thought I'd see a skull'

A man hired to spruce up a backyard found bones stuffed into a BBQ pit. As the mystery remains on who the person is, the man spoke exclusively with ABC13 about the discovery.

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