March 11, 2003 was already a busy night, but when Brownsville Police Det. Sam Lucio heard his comrade TMs frantic call for back up, he could have never imagined the horrific crime that had been committed.
"They said it was possibly three children that were deceased," Lucio said.
He and Det. Thomas Clipper were two of the first to arrive on scene at a dilapidated apartment on 8th and Tyler Streets in Brownsville.
That's where they discovered the most disturbing crime scene of their careers.
The bodies of 3-year-old Julissa Quesada, 14- month-old John Esteban and 2-month-old Mary Jane - mutilated by their mother Angela Camacho and her common-law-husband John Allen Rubio.
"(The boy) looked like a doll sitting there without his head and that was in one of the bedrooms, Clipper said. Detective Lucio made it to the back and that's where he discovered the buckets where they were cleaning the bodies trying to get rid of the evidence. We found the sisters in plastic bags."
Lucio and Clipper were shocked to say the least, but had to start the painstaking process of documenting the crime scene in order to find justice for the children.
"A lot of people ask us that question, ~what was it like?, TM Lucio said. We were focused on trying not to overlook anything, to get all the things that we were going to need to prosecute this case."
Even after all this time, it's still difficult for these detectives to relive that night. The building where the murders happened still stands, and it's located in a highly traveled neighborhood, blocks away from the Cameron County Courthouse.
"When you drive by there I guess my brain just brings me back to that smell of (chlorine from) that night," Lucio said.
"There's not a time I pass through that area that I don't think about the kids," Clipper added.
The two also testified in Rubio and Camacho TMs trials, in which both killers claimed they were driven by an evil spirit to decapitate the children.
"To this day I believe he knew what he was doing, Lucio said. Those children were not his and he wanted to start fresh with Angela. He just couldn't take care of them and got rid of them, plain and simple. I don't believe in any of the demons - I don TMt believe in any of that stuff."
Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz will host a memorial for the children on March 11, at 5 p.m. at the intersection of 8th and Tyler.
Brownsville city officials said the site will likely be turned into a garden memorial soon.