Murder suspect still at large
After 20 years of allegedly abusing his wife, Rogelio Vazquez put an end to it all and began a life on the run after reportedly murdering his wife, Sugie.
Sugie Vasquez was 38 years old at the time of her death. She was ready to start a life on her own to raise her three children alone rather than to keep enduring the physical and mental abuse of her turbulent marriage.
Like several times before she told her husband she was leaving. But, she would not live long enough to regret her decision. Her body was discovered in a Newton County pond on May 16, 1997.
The property where her body was found belonged to her husband’s employer.
Autopsy reports concluded she died of blunt force trauma to her head in addition to being stabbed twice.
Rogelio Guerra Vasquez, now 57 years old, is believed to have gone back to Mexico. Her three children were left behind to deal with the guilt for not stopping the life-changing event and to live a life without their mother.
Sugie Vasquez would meet her future husband in Orange when he moved to the area. Rogelio who is a Mexican National, did not speak English when he first arrived. They fell in love and married in September of 1976. But, the honeymoon was short-lived and the relationship took a turn for the worse when he became increasingly controlling and abusive.
After work on Friday nights, Rogelio would go to area bars and drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Sugie would wait for him to come home. He would come home late at night and stagger through the door. Then the violent fights would begin, according to family members.
After many years, a breaking point finally came for Sugie. She had discovered her husband was cheating on her. So, she packed up the children and moved into her mother’s house. However, Rogelio pleaded with her and she complied by going back home. But the ride home was quickly back to the same old thing. He would threaten her if she ever left again he would kill her, according to family members. Sugie would gather her courage and leave him again to be free of her abusive life. However, Rogelio like other abusive husbands turned on the charm and made promises he wouldn’t keep.
After one of these events, their life appeared to be somewhat normal. The family had moved to a different house in the neighborhood in order to make a new start. The youngest of the Vasquez children hugged her father for what she thought seemed like the first time. She thought to herself maybe this time would be different. But, their lives once again fell into the same patterns.
To the outside world everything appeared to be great. But, behind closed doors, life was chaotic to say the least. The Vasquez children had a strained relationship with their father and would often leave the room when he came home from work. They also avoided conversation with him.
Like many times before, the violence became worse and spiraled out of control. Sugie began to make plans for her escape, but Rogelio made plans of his own. On the day of the murder, Rogelio reportedly told his boss his wife was leaving him and he had decided to return to Mexico. Later that day, the couple would get into another argument. Sugie would not live long enough to make her escape. For some unknown reason, they decided to go to the store together. This would be the last time Sugie’s children would see her alive.
Her youngest daughter, who was a teen when she was murdered, would remember her father taking a long look at his children as if it was the last time he would see them. Later, her daughter would find the vehicle Sugie had left in with Rogelio parked behind the house with her mother’s blood inside. The next day a missing person report was filed with the Orange Police Department. The following day, Rogelio’s brother, Robert Vasquez, would allegedly tell investigators his brother had indeed committed the murder. He also told them where the body could be found.
After an investigation was conducted, a warrant for Rogelio’s arrest for the murder of his wife, Sugie, was issued. Investigators worked with the FBI on the case. In May 2008 the FBI posted a $10,000 reward for his capture. In addition, after a long letter writing campaign by Sugie’s daughter, the case was posted to the America’s Most Wanted website in 2009.
According to AMW, Rogelio was known to be obsessed with his appearance. Over the years he was known to grow a mustache or beard. He is described as 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds. He was also obsessed with the cleanliness of his vehicles. In addition, he was a heavy drinker and cigarette smoker. He frequented pools halls and bars.
During his marriage he worked as a roofer but he also has a background in home construction such as painting, electrical work and lawn care. Captain Cliff Hargrave, of OPD, says they are still hoping new leads will come forth as to the whereabouts of Rogelio Vasquez and investigators would like to see the case solved. Anyone with information is urged to call OPD at 409-883-1026.