Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt made bold comments that have reignited hope for a family searching for answers after their loved one went missing. Tackitt said he hopes the latest search for Pauline Diaz leads to a confession from her former husband.
Diaz disappeared in 2010 after she left her job at the H-E-B located on Southeast Military and Goliad. Her face has since been shared across Bexar County as her family searched for her, even after her case went cold. Now, after more than seven years since she went missing, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and Wilson County joined forces to search for answers.
The two agencies dug several holes five to six feet deep behind a home near Floresville, searching for Diaz’s body. Diaz shared the home with her husband, Pedro Ruiz, a person of interest in the case.
Diaz’s daughter, Paula Martinez, said she knew the agencies had planned a search, but adds that she wasn’t prepared for the emotional rollercoaster.
"I mean, the minute I got the message I was vomiting, I just got so instantly sick," Martinez said. Martinez said she met with Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar back in February and pleaded to reopen the case. She said BCSO launched a special task force to look into her mother’s case.
“The investigator that was assigned started from scratch all over again,” Martinez said.
BCSO would not confirm if any new leads helped re-launched the investigation or if they assigned a new task force to Diaz’s disappearance.
Monday's search ended with no results, but Tackitt made it clear he thinks Pedro Ruiz knows where Diaz may be.
"Pedro is still a person of interest and we are hoping maybe…this today and being on the news again may cause him to fess up to it,” Tackitt said.
"I think he [Pedro] killed her and he hid her," Martinez said. “I believe that is what he did, he was threatening her and stalking her, he was escorted out of H-E-B several times.”
Martinez also claims that just days before her mother disappeared, Ruiz inquired about Diaz’s life insurance policy and threw a fit after finding out he was not the beneficiary.
Ruiz has been interviewed several times but never charged with Diaz's disappearance.
Anyone with information about Diaz’a case is asked to call Crime Stoppers: 1(830) 393-4636 or 1(210) 224-7867.