- Melissa Banda was killed by her ex-husband Richard Ford who cut her throat with a knife
- Richard Ford is charged with capital murder, and in Texas that crime carries the death penalty.
- Banda, a mother of three, has had a restraining order against the man since her divorce from Ford.
Melissa Banda, a mother in Texas, was kidnapped
and murdered by her ex-husband Richard Ford who carefully planned the crime.
Band, 37, died murdered on Friday, August 7, 2020 in McAllen, Texas, by her 41-year-old ex-husband Richard Ford, who already had a restraining order not to approach the woman due to her violent nature.
Ford was formally charged last Thursday, February 4, 2021 by detectives of the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO, for its acronym in English) and taken to jail.
Richard Ford faces a long list of crimes ranging from capital murder, terrorist threats, assault on a family member, stalking and violation of a restraining order.
The crime of capital homicide that Ford faces is the only one that, according to the Texas State Penal Code, is punished with the death penalty who is found guilty of this crime after a trial.
Legal documents, consulted by MundoHispánico, give an account of a case of domestic violence against Melissa Banda and that the woman, a mother of three children, paid with her life after a long chain of abuse.
On Thursday, August 6, 2020, Banda was outside his home, 7100 North Seventh Street, in the northeast of the McAllen metropolitan area when a Dodge Journey truck suddenly pulled up next to him.
A bald man got out of the truck and violently grabbed Melissa Banda and forced her into the truck.
The terrified woman screamed for help, which encouraged some neighbors and her nanny, who called the emergency number to request the presence of the authorities.
When the first patrolman of the McAllen Police Department (MPD, for its acronym in English) arrived at the scene at 3:49 in the afternoon, the neighbors gave him the details in the kidnapping of the woman.
The babysitter of Banda’s children told the officer that the alleged kidnapper could be Richard Ford, the ex-husband of Melissa Banda since, like the kidnapper, he was a white and bald man.
The patrolman noted in his report that the first suspect in the kidnapping was Ford and then issued an alert to all corporations in southeast Texas about the car in which the man could travel with the kidnapped woman.
McAllen, the city in which the events occurred, is a town in southeastern Texas and almost on the border with Mexico and has a population of 140,000, almost all Hispanic.
In the records of the civil courts of the Hidalgo County It is detailed that Melissa Banda and Richard Ford were married in 2008 until she filed for divorce, denouncing him for his constant abuse and violent attacks.
A civil judge granted Banda in 2018 a restraining order that the man constantly violated, despite court warnings, calling her and harassing her with messages.
Thanks to the security cameras of the house of a neighbor in Banda, the agents were able to obtain the detailed sequence of the kidnapping of the woman and were then able to identify with certainty that the author of the kidnapping was Ford.
The history of abuse against the woman raised the alarms of the MPD and the HCSO who were looking for the woman and her abductor throughout the McAllen metropolitan area and in all closed areas of the county.
The license on the Dodge Journey truck in which Melissa Banda was kidnapped allowed detectives from the two corporations to discover that it was a rental car and that the vehicle had been reserved by Richard Ford.
On Saturday, August 8, 2021, a cowboy called the emergency number at 2:36 in the morning to report that, on the way to his ranch, he had seen a body lying near the road hidden in the bushes.
HCSO agents reported to Farmers Road 493, at mile marker 14, outside Donna, Texas, where they found the body of a woman who had had her throat slit through the neck with a knife. .
In the investigation of the agents of the Division of Special Crimes of the HCSO they determined in the place that the woman was Melissa Banda the victim of the kidnapping and that she had been murdered in the 24 hours prior to being found.
The investigation then turned to finding Richard Ford since, in addition to the discovery of the body, the Dodge Journey truck was found abandoned on a highway north of McAllen.
On the same Saturday, August 8, 2020, the agents of the Corpus Christi Police Department The CCPD finally detained Richard Ford after he was identified based on an alert from authorities in McAllen.
However, it took more than five months for the Hidalgo County Prosecutor’s Office to gather all the necessary evidence to be able to formally charge the man.
In the indictment against Richard Ford for the death of his ex-wife Melissa Banda, prosecutors wrote that the man planned «the crime carefully» so that no one would suspect him. The screams that the woman gave and that alerted the neighbors and the nanny were the first clue to the crime that now has him in jail.
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Filed as: Melissa Banda was murdered by her ex-husband after years of abuse
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