Oscar Sanchez was abducted right off a residential street here in Dallas. The city responded to pleas for help and a search ensued. 9 days later he was found deceased. Despite tremendous efforts by the family, law enforcement and searchers, Oscar Sanchez was gone.
Our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Oscar Sanchez. To follow are photographs, video and related information about this tragedy.
DALLAS — A former elementary teacher was convicted of capital murder Tuesday in the kidnapping and death of a Dallas restaurateur.
Jose Alberto Felix faces life in prison because prosecutors didn't seek the death penalty. Felix had denied being a willing participant in the 2005 kidnapping and death of Oscar Sanchez, whose family owns La Calle Doce and El Ranchito restaurants.
OSCAR SANCHEZ, dearly loved husband, father, and son, died January 27, 2005, in Dallas, TX. He was the son of Rosa Laura and the late Oscar Guadalupe Sanchez, of Villa de Garcia, Mexico. Oscar was born in Dallas, Texas on October 14, 1974. Oscar attended Rosemont Elementary School, W. E. Griener Arts Academy Junior High School, and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Art where he was a music major in jazz guitar. In 1997, Oscar graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Economics. In October of 2000, Oscar married his soul-mate, best-friend and love of his life, Theresa, in Villa de Garcia, Mexico. Oscar always put his family first. Even though they always made time for their friends and family, once his wife Theresa became pregnant, Oscar proudly stayed by her side, educating himself on the pregnancy process childbirth and raising children, even joking, in the beginning, that he had morning sickness along with his wife. Oscar described to his family and friends how the birth of his daughter, in December, was the fondest and most joyful memories of his life. In his professional life, he was a successful businessman and restaurateur. Oscar was the Associate Director of Operations of the El Ranchito and La Calle Doce Restaurants in Dallas, having started to take on some of the management responsibilities for the family business from his mother after his father died in 1997. He was a visionary, constantly learning and striving to do more and grow as a person and a businessman. He was extremely intelligent always staying abreast of world events. His friends and family would come to him for his insight and unique perspective from which they could learn and relate. He was also a forum member of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization, a member of the Texas Restaurant Association, Restauranteros Latinos de Dallas and the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce. His success only added to his warm, incredibly generous character. He is remembered by his family and friends for his humility and grace, how selfless he could be in making his closest friends feel special and loved. Oscar was always there for friends with his unmatchable capacity for making people happy. Oscar was a man who always had fun, with a full-bellied laugh, whose signature greeting was a kiss on the cheek and a squeeze of the shoulder. He was a fun, courageous leader always the first to jump off the diving board, step onto the dance floor, and tell a joke. Everyone who met him, even once or twice, saw him a close friend as he was one of the most kind and genuinely warm-hearted people they would ever meet. He was well-known as a music connoisseur compiling music for friends and serving as DJ at parties. Not only did Oscar love the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks with passion, he also loved playing volleyball, football and basketball with his friends. Oscar was preceded in death by his father Oscar Jesus Sanchez, Sr. Oscar is survived by his beautiful and loving wife of 4 years, Theresa Sanchez and their infant daughter, Helena Sanchez; his mother, Laura Sanchez; grandmother, Natalia Varela; his sister, Silka Sanchez, his half brother, Mario Sanchez; aunts and uncles, Jesus Sanchez, Juan Sanchez, Alma Rubio, and Natalia Sanchez; and many cousins in Dallas and Mexico. The Rosary will be prayed by Very Rev. Ramon Alvarez, at 5:00 p.m., Sunday, January 30, 2005, at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home Chapel. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1:30 p.m., Monday, January 31, 2005, at Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 2215 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Bishop Charles V. Grahmann presiding. Interment will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Dallas. Pallbearers will be: Jesus Sanchez, Juan Sanchez, Martin Reavis, Emilio Rubio, Burt Coty, John Lendvay, Luis Salazar, and Erick Valentin. Honorary Pallbearers will be: Silka Sanchez, Mario Sanchez, Alma Rubio, Natalia Sanchez, Elizabeth Sanchez, Vanessa Ibanez, Colleen Duerson, John Paul Coty, Rechelle Salazar, and Elio Monje. Memorials may made in memory of Oscar to the Helena Marie Sanchez Educational Fund, 9333 Stratford Way, Dallas, TX 75220. Please visit www.mem.com to leave a tribute for the Sanchez Family.
Dignity Memorial Sparkman Hillcrest 7405 W. Northwest Hwy. Dallas (214) 363-5401 Published in the Dallas Morning News on 1/30/2005.
Photos from Funeral Monday, January 31, 2005
The funeral was a beautiful service. I had a bad case of the flu and stayed for about 30 minutes, standing in the very back the entire time to avoid getting anyone else sick. There were about 2000 people there according to News 5. It was a good turnout and about one fourth of the people stood in the back and along the sides of the church pews. Communion was given. Mr. Sanchez and his wife had their baby christened there 2 months earlier.
SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 126
Oscar Jesus Sanchez
WHEREAS, The Senate of the State of Texas joins the
citizens of Dallas in mourning the loss of Oscar Jesus Sanchez,
who died January 27, 2005, at the age of 30; and
WHEREAS, Oscar Sanchez was born on October 14, 1974, in
Dallas, Texas; he was the son of Rosa Laura and the late
Oscar Sanchez, of Villa de Garcia, Mexico; and
WHEREAS, He attended Rosemont Elementary School, W. E. Greiner
Middle School and Exploratory Arts Academy, and Booker T. Washington
School for Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas and
majored in music, playing jazz guitar; he graduated from
The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in economics in
WHEREAS, Oscar Sanchez was a successful and respected
businessman and restaurateur; as associate director of
operations of the El Ranchito and La Calle Doce Restaurants,
he had taken on management responsibilities of the family
restaurant business after the death of his father; and
WHEREAS, A loving and committed family man, Oscar Sanchez
was devoted to his wife, Theresa, who was also his soulmate and
best friend; they had a daughter, Helena Marie Sanchez, in
December, and her birth was one of the most joyful moments of
Oscar's life; and
WHEREAS, Oscar Sanchez was known for his kindness, his
humility, and his generosity; in addition to his fun-loving
nature and positive outlook, he had a gift for making people feel
welcome, and his warmth, wisdom, and wise counsel will not be
forgotten by those who knew him; and
WHEREAS, Oscar Sanchez was a devoted husband, father, son,
and brother, and he leaves behind memories that will be cherished
forever by his family and many friends; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Senate of the State of Texas,
79th Legislature, hereby extend sincere condolences to the bereaved
family of Oscar Jesus Sanchez: his wife, Theresa Coty Sanchez;
their infant daughter, Helena Marie Sanchez; his mother,
Laura Sanchez; his grandmother, Natalia Varela; his sister,
Silka Sanchez; his half brother, Mario Sanchez; and his aunts and
uncles and many cousins; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution be prepared for
the family of Oscar Sanchez as an expression of deepest sympathy
from the Texas Senate, and that when the Senate adjourns this
day, it do so in memory of Oscar Jesus Sanchez.
President of the Senate
I hereby certify that the
above Resolution was adopted by
the Senate on February 10, 2005,
by a rising vote.
My hope is that information regarding the abduction of Oscar Sanchez can help others both avoid a similar situation and if it did occur, a way to better insure their chances of survival. The other thing about this is the sheer audacity of individuals that would snatch a young father off of the streets of Dallas. The suspects could have walked away, let Oscar go and disappeared. Sadly, and so often is the case with kidnappings, things go horribly awry. There are no simple kidnappings for those foolish enough to consider a crime like this. See the movie "Fargo" and you'll have an idea of how bad kidnappings go, if this story about Oscar Sanchez does not already make this perfectly clear. We must lose the mentality I believe of catching kidnappers on the spot. We have evolved past the point of needing to catch kidnappers in the act. Give them their money, and get the person back safely, immediately. I do hope to see a shift from catching the kidnappers to only getting the victim home safe initially. Once that occurs, law enforcement can have the suspects for lunch if they want. We just need to adapt some of the emerging technologies over to this particular brand of crime. Let technology do the work for you.
AMBER ALERT FOR KIDNAPPING VICTIMS?
Would an automated alert similar to the Amber Alert for children be warranted in kidnapping cases despite the victims age? Or would this have a negative impact on the children's version? In kidnapping cases it is not even prudent to let the media know what is happening until a failed money drop or some other critical turn takes place in the case, but once it does, a full automated response by the community could increase the chances of successfully returning the victim safely. It may be that this increasingly popular crime in Mexico may be migrating northward as well. Additionally, currently civilian officer programs are common across the country now, where citizens can be trained to perform certain functions for officers that are less volatile than full duty. Could private investigators who have passed a rigorous background screening process be pulled in to provide assistance to their police counterparts, detectives, in a situation where something severe happens like a kidnapping and multiple leads or information has to be investigated simultaneously. Like the officer program but on a detective level. The screening process would have to be top notch and possibly have more frequent verifications and re-application periods.
Abduction and Kidnapping Prevention Tips for Parents and Guardians
High profile abductions of children, although a rare occurrence, have left many families frightened and unsure about how to protect their children. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is a wealth of information on child safety and abduction prevention. You can visit their website at www.missingkids.com, or call them at 1-800-The-Lost (1-800-843-5678).
These are just a few of their helpful tips.
Teach your children to run away from danger. If someone tries to grab them, tell them to make a scene and make every effort to get away by kicking, screaming, and resisting. Their safety is more important than being polite
Never let your children go anywhere alone
Know where your children are and who they are with at all times.
Talk openly with your children about safety.
Have a list of family members or friends who can be contacted in an emergency
Be alert to and aware of your surroundings
Know your employees. Do background screening and reference checks on everyone who works at your home, particularly those who care for your children
Take steps to secure personal information about yourself. Be discreet about your possessions and your family’s personal habits and information
Report any suspicious persons or activities to law enforcement immediately
Remember – you are your own best resource for better safeguarding your family. Do not become complacent about personal security issues.
For more details on these valuable child-safety tips, visit the website of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at www.missingkids.com.
"Let no man put asunder what God hath joined together." Matthew 19:6