This month’s Doe comes to us from Texas in the late 1980s. The only name this person has known since their death is related to a hat found near their body – a hat that may not have even been theirs in life. So – who was Rebel Ray in life, and how did they end up in a gully outside of Georgetown, Texas, and why do they still not have their name back? Let’s Explore.
On October 3, 1988, a farmer was shocked to see his dog drag a human skull into his yard. Obviously alarmed, he alerted the authorities to the grisly discovery. The rest of the remains were found in a nearby gully – though there was only a partial skeleton to be found. The ravine ran alongside Highway 29, and was four miles outside of Georgetown, TX.
The Doe was biologically male, and thought to be between 27 and 37 years old at the time of their death. Testing showed that they were likely white with Hispanic or Native American heritage. They were estimated to stand between 5’2” and 5’5” tall. It was, however, impossible to estimate their weight. Their eyes were thought to be brown, and their hair was straight brown with some gray. Their nose was thought to be crooked or misshaped from having been broken in the past.
There is not a lot of information online regarding the investigation into the murder of Rebel Ray. The investigators discovered the rest of the remains and determined that the manner of death to be homicide. Found near the remains were a pair of underwear and hat with a confederate flag on it – from which his nickname stemmed. Besides that, their leads were seemingly few and far between. All we know is that Rebel Ray may have worked as a handyman in a mobile home park close to the site of discovery, and that he may be from Mexico.
There are currently only two missing persons ruled out as being Rebel Ray, despite the case being fairly popular amongst websleuths. The first rule-out is Robert Biela. Robert went missing from Harlingen, TX on September 4, 1986. He was 36 years old at the time of his disappearance. There isn’t any other information publicly available regarding his disappearance. The second rule-out is Amos Buchanan, who went missing from Fort Worth, TX on March 9, 1987. He was 57 at the time of this disappearance, which is well outside of the estimated range for Rebel Ray. Again, there is little information publicly available regarding the disappearance of Amos Buchanan.
After searching NamUs and the Charley Project, I have only managed to come up with one possible match for Rebel Ray – Arturo Tabares. Arturo went missing from Dallas, TC on May 18, 1987. His vital statistics match up with the estimates provided for Rebel Ray – he was 34 at the time of his disappearance, and he stood at 5’2” tall. He disappeared in a vehicle, so the distance between Georgetown and Dallace isn’t totally improbable. Unfortunately, there are no dentals, DNA, or fingerprints on file for Arturo, so a comparison would be difficult to make.
Another possibility is that Rebel Ray was an undocumented person, considering they were found in a state notorious for undocumented workers. It is totally possible they came to the US looking for work or for a specific job and then were murdered, which muddied the waters. This would explain the lack of missing persons report from a US agency matching up with the Doe.
It has now been over thirty years since Rebel Ray was found on that lonely road in Texas. They had a family, maybe still have a family somewhere out in the world, wondering where their loved one went, what happened to them. Rebel Ray deserves their real name back, deserves to be known for more than a hat found with their body. If you or anyone you know has any information regarding the identity or murder of Rebel Ray, you can contact the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office at 512-943-1300, in reference to case number 88-10-028. You can also contact the Williamson County Cold Case Unit at 512-943-5204. The National Crime Information Center Case number for this case is U338343142. The NamUs Case Number is 4062.