HARRIS COUNTY -

The Harris County Sheriff's Office and Medical Examiner have positively identified the body of a man, wrapped in black plastic and buried in a shallow grave beneath a chicken coop in northeast Houston, as that of 41-year-old Jesus Valdez Leal.

The Pasadena car salesman and father of three disappeared without a trace on New Year's Eve, just a short time before he was to attend a celebration dinner with his wife, Diana.

At around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, deputies went to the 5200 block of Mohawk and searched behind the vacant home after a buried body was reported on the property. A few hours later, Texas EquuSearch was called in to help with the dig by using ground-penetrating radar to look for the body underground.

"It is in the rear of the residence," said Sgt. Greg Pinkins with the Harris County Sheriff's Office. "Behind the residence there is a chicken coop, the body was inside that coop, buried inside that chicken coop."

His loving family has been praying for the best and news of Valdez's death has devastated everyone.

Now the family must plan a funeral, a funeral they cannot afford without a lot of financial help.

Anyone with information about the suspects’ identity in this case and/or location is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Houston at 713-222-TIPS or to submit a tip via the iWatchHarrisCounty phone app.