Houston witnessed a horrific murder. Raul Mendoza, 23, was shot to death before being dumped at Buffalo Bayou. Authorities were able to recover the body of Raul Mendoza, but leads proved difficult to find until a tip led the police in the right direction. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Swamp Murders: Secret Rendezvous’ chronicles the horrifying incident and shows how the police investigation honed in on the killers. Let’s take a closer look at the case and find out more, shall we?
How did Raul Mendoza die?
Raul Mendoza, a vibrant and easy-going individual, was only 23 years old when he died. People who knew Raul described him to be kind-hearted and generous. He was always willing to help others and would greet everyone with a smile. The 23-year old was a Navy veteran, which made him very popular in his community. He is greatly missed. Raul Mendoza disappeared on March 15, 2006 when he was reported missing. He was last seen by police after being involved in an altercation nearby his car.
Raul vanished from the scene when authorities arrived. He did not return to his family and was left anxious and concerned. Once Raul’s close ones reported him missing, the police began searching around the place he was last seen. According to reports, detectives used all available facilities and did not leave no stone unturned in their search. Raul was still missing at 23 years old, but there was no information. The hope of Raul returning safe and sound grew as the hours passed.
The human body was found floating in the Buffalo Bayou water by Texas EquuSearch teams on March 19, 2006. The authorities immediately launched a rescue operation and brought the body to shore. The victim was identified as Raul Mendoza. However, it was obvious that he had died a long time ago. An autopsy revealed that Raul had been shot twice in the head at close range, leading to his death.
Who Killed Raul Mendoza?
The police didn’t have any leads so the initial investigation was slow. While passersby saw the altercation Raul was in on the morning of his disappearance they didn’t get a chance to look closely at the individuals involved. People who knew Mendoza claimed that Mendoza maintained a friendly relationship with others. Therefore, they did not consider Mendoza as an immediate suspect.
Nevertheless, once detectives sat down for an interview with Raul’s sister, she gave them a tip that pointed them in the direction of two individuals named Jose Luis Nieva and Joseph Noel Godin. According to the show, Godin and Nieva were present with Raul on Raul’s disappearance day. The altercation was believed to have involved both men. Authorities had a good lead and were able to catch the suspects quickly. They brought them in for questioning.
Initially, both Nieva and Godin insisted on their innocence and claimed they had nothing to do with Raul’s disappearance or murder. After being put under intense interrogation by law enforcement officers, both Nieva and Godin insisted on their innocence, claiming that they had nothing to do with Raul’s disappearance or murder. However, when the two were forced to confess, they finally broke down. Interestingly, Nieva claimed Godin pulled the trigger while Godin tried to shift blame onto Nieva. Authorities arrested them both and charged them with murder, believing they were involved.
Where are Jose Luis Nieva & Joseph Noel Godin?
Jose Luis Nieva, Joseph Noel Godin and Joseph Noel Godin were both convicted of murder after they were presented in court. Nieva was sentenced in 2007 to 40 years imprisonment, while Godin received a 45 year term. Nieva is currently being held at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit, Huntsville, Texas. He will be eligible to parole in 2026. Godin is currently behind bars at W. J. “Jim” Estelle Unit in Huntsville; he will be eligible to appeal for parole in 2028.
Read More: Seth Rich Murder: How Did He Die? Who Killed Him?