Two years after murder of Austin man, family waits for answers

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s been just over two years since 36-year-old Robert Morales, Jr. was murdered and left on the side of a road in Northeast Austin.

His mother Antonia Morales, says he was her only son. Now she, her daughters and the rest of the family, continue to wait for justice.

“I try to come out here every day,” said Antonia. “I can’t pass by this cemetery without saying hi.”

“Not having him here is the hardest, but not knowing who took him from us is even harder,” said Robert’s younger sister, Veronica Sanchez. “They threw him on the side of the road and left him there like a dog, and he was somebody’s family. That was somebody’s brother, somebody’s son, somebody’s uncle, somebody’s dad. They threw him there like he was nobody, and is somebody. He’s somebody to all of us.”

While three suspects were arrested and charged in the death, they have all since been released. David Diaz was charged with first degree murder and arrested by the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force in early June.

Mark Quiroga and Lisa Salas were the other suspects in the homicide, arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, a second-degree felony.

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office says the case was dismissed before presenting to a grand jury. All three suspects were released in late June.

Erika Sipiora, a prosecutor for the DA’s office, tells KXAN they dismissed the case so that law enforcement could continue to investigate. Because it is an active investigation, she could not comment further.

Robert’s niece, Alyssa Villanueva, says the tougher questions come from the younger ones in the family.

“They want to know, why? Why can’t my tio be at my birthday party? Why can’t we go to heaven and visit him?”

“Losing him was hard,” said Sanchez. “We are a small family, but when you take something like that from us, you take a big part of us.”

The family asks anyone with information to please come forward, because every detail matters.

They’re not losing hope for justice, but just hope it comes soon.

Austin police say this is an active investigation, but they’re not talking publicly about any new evidence right now. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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