'They were two kids in puppy love': Police ask for help in probe into couple's death

By Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli - Digital News Producer

HOUSTON - “It’s been 11 months, and it doesn’t get easier,” said Daniel Cerda, the father of Robert Cerda – a man who was killed along with his girlfriend – during a news conference Tuesday.

Police held the conference in order to ask the public for help finding evidence or clues that can lead to an arrest in the case. 

Cerda and his girlfriend, Rachel Delarosa, both 29, were last seen at a convenience store near Long Point Drive and Wirt Road after eating at Connie’s Seafood and Oyster Bar on Dec. 11, 2017, police said. 

According to authorities, police got a call later that night around 8:45 p.m. about a shooting in Missouri City near Creekmont Drive where they found Delarosa’s body. Cerda’s body was found Dec. 12, 2017 near Bleker Street in northeast Houston, also shot.

Officers are asking the public to come forward with any information in order to help bring closure to the family.

VIDEO: Police ask for help in probe into couple's death

“Holidays are an extremely difficult, emotional time for survivors of homicide. The never-ending pain and grief are intensified by when justice is lacking, and right now, justice is lacking for Robert and Rachel," said Crime Stoppers representative Andy Kahan. "Someone out there knows what happened … and it’s time for you to step up to the plate and help these families ease their pain, ease their grief, ease their anguish. We are pleading with you to please call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.”

According to police, the victims were “two kids in puppy love” who loved being around each other. On the surveillance video where they were last seen alive, police said they were joking and laughing with each other, doing what couples in love do.

Cerda’s parents also spoke fondly about the couple’s relationship and remembered their last day together.

“That Sunday (Dec 10), we had a great day together. My son and I and Rachel and my two grandsons went to - we had a family day. We went out to Discovery Green, and they were out there being big kids with the little kids, having fun,” Cerda’s mother, Valeria Cerda, said. “They enjoyed each other. I could still see him and Rachel hugging each other and walking and picking on each other and joking. They really enjoyed each other’s company.”

Cerda said it’s now part of her daily routine to stop by the couple’s graves. 

“It’s very hard,” Cerda said. “I still go to the cemetery every day… it’s part of my schedule now. I miss him very much. It’s just a big hole in my heart right now that I don’t know will ever be filled.”

Police believe Cerda and Delarosa were killed by the same person or people. 

According to officers, they are still looking for a motive and the reward has been raised to up to $15,000 for any information that can lead to an arrest. 

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