Parents of Filipino found dead in Mississippi River still seeking closure

SAN RAMON, CA — In the name of love, 28-year old Filipino Ronald Ponce moved thousands of miles away from the San Francisco Bay Area — to be with his girlfriend, Rachel Daniel, in the last three years.

But according to his family, that relationship ended this past June.

Ronald’s parents, Rose and Randy Ponce, told ABS-CBN News that Ronald found proof that Daniel was cheating on him and was ready to have a fresh start back in California.

In fact, his mother, Rose was planning to pick him up in Mississippi last August 1 – so they could return to the Bay Area together by car.

“I talked to him on the 29th in the evening and I asked him if he’s ready and if your car is in good condition? ‘Yeah, my car is in good condition, dad.’ And he’s very happy in his voice that he’s coming back. And he said ‘thank you’. That was the last time,” said Randy.

Ronald’s parents woke up on July 31st to a chilling text from their son — asking for forgiveness as he planned to commit suicide.

On August 12th — 12 days after Ronald’s parents received what would be his last text message, his body was found floating in the Mississippi River near Tom Lee Park.

It’s been more than three weeks since Ronald’s body was found – but the Ponce family said they cannot find closure because there have been no results of an autopsy.

According to the medical examiner’s office, the results may take up to six months.

The Memphis police also said the cause of death is still under investigation.

The Ponce couple said the entire ordeal has been frustrating, especially since they were not allowed to see the body of their son while they were in Mississippi.

“We are disappointed because even this is the last time we cannot see the body. I even told them though how bad it is I just want to see because even the eyes, even the hair, or the ears, or anything left. I can [tell].

Ronald’s body has since been cremated and his ashes are now with his family in California.

If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, please call the 24-hour national suicide prevention life-line — at 1-800-273-8255 — or you can log on to

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