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      Double funeral for Pharr family coping with tragedy

      Amalia Varela Family Photo

      A Pharr family will hold a double funeral after their losing both their 21-year-old son and his grandmother.

      Pharr police recently confirmed that a body pulled out of a canal was that of missing man Jesus "Chuy" Reyes.

      The 21-year-Las Milpas man went missing early Sunday morning after suffering through a recent breakup with his girlfriend.

      Family members told Action 4 News that Reyes' maternal grandmother Amalia Varela fainted and later died after hearing the news about his death.

      Double Tragedy

      The 79-year-old Reynosa woman had came to support the family in their search for him on Tuesday.

      Reyes' stepfather Ricardo Ponce said the family had told Varela that Reyes was dead but they did not tell her how he died.

      Ponce said his mother-in-law fainted and had to be rushed to a hospital.

      The Pharr man said Varela had a weak heart and suffered two heart attacks before passing away.

      Practically Raised Him

      Ponce said loss of both his stepson and his grandmother has been difficult for the family, which now numbers six.

      "It's a difficult time for them for all of us," Ponce said in Spanish.

      The grieving stepfather told Action 4 News that Varela would come to their home at least two or three times a week.

      Ponce said Reyes and his grandmother were very close.

      "She always watched him and his brother when they were young," Ponce said in Spanish. "She practically raised him and his brother."

      Double Funeral

      Family members are holding a double funeral for both Reyes and his grandmother on Friday morning.

      Ponce said that family members still need about $3,000 dollars to help with funeral expenses and other costs.

      Anyone wishing to help the family can make a donation to the following bank account:

      Manuela PonceWells Fargo

      The joint services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at the Amador Funeral Home at 1201 East Ferguson Avenue in Pharr.

      Burial will follow at the San Juan Cemetery near South I Road and Moore Road.