The last time that Maria Rubio spoke to her 22-year-old daughter and mother of two Lizbeth Flores was on August 9th, the day Flores crossed the border into Mexico via the Veterans International Bridge in Brownsville, Texas to meet her boyfriend in Matamoros, Mexico. Flores told her mother that she would return that night.
When Flores failed to return, Rubio filed a missing persons report with the Brownsville Police Department.
The following day, reports came across the border that Flores' body had been recovered near Libramiento Emilio Portes Gil in Matamoros and showed signs of torture.
According to Mexican media outlets, cited by the Brownsville Herald and KRGV, Flores' teeth and a portion of her scalp had been removed, and her body was covered with bruises. Authorities state that she died of blunt force trauma to the head, consistent with a large rock found at the scene.
"Losing a child is like having your heart ripped out," Rubio said. "I feel such sadness because of what they did to my daughter. The way they left her… The pain that my daughter went through there, in that moment. That’s what hurts."
The FBI is assisting with the investigation, and Flores' body remains with the Mexican medical examiners. Her family is working to have her remains returned to Texas for burial.