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Former Hidalgo County prosecutor found dead in Austin

A passerby found former Hidalgo County Assistant District Attorney Ricco Delgado dead Saturday morning in Austin. He was 32. (Photo courtesy of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office)

A passerby found former Hidalgo County Assistant District Attorney Ricco Delgado dead Saturday morning in Austin. He was 32.

Ricco Delgado — the son of state district Judge Rudy Delgado — resigned from the Hidalgo County District Attorney's Office in October.

"Yes, my son has passed away," Judge Delgado said. "My wife and I are devastated."

On Saturday morning, Austin-Travis County EMS dispatched an ambulance to 2210 William Barton Drive, which is the address of a trailhead on the Greenbelt, said Cmdr. Mike Benavides. Officials found a man submerged in water about 100 yards from the trailhead.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene.

“At this time we do not suspect any foul play,” said Senior Police Officer Justin Berry, a spokesman for the Austin Police Department. Berry said police wanted to notify the man’s family before releasing any additional information, including the man’s name.

CBS 4 News independently confirmed the man was Ricco Delgado.

Ricco Delgado graduated from James “Nikki” Rowe High School in McAllen and earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin, according to Hidalgo County personnel records. He attended the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, where he graduated magna cum laude in May 2015.

After passing the bar exam, Ricco Delgado returned to Hidalgo County and took a job with the District Attorney’s Office.

“He was a smart kid. A bright kid,” said District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez. “He did great work as a prosecutor.”

Ricco Delgado handled misdemeanor cases, a standard job for a new assistant district attorney.

"There was a bright future in front of him,” Rodriguez said, adding that the District Attorney’s Office considered Ricco Delgado a friend and a family member. “We're going to miss him a whole lot.”

Ricco Delgado resigned from the District Attorney's Office on Oct. 24 after a drunken driving arrest and a drug-related arrest just days later.

"I need to take care of myself and my family and need to be away from the office to best meet my personal goals," Ricco Delgado wrote to Rodriguez. "You are an excellent role model for all of your assistants and other administrative staff. The job was fulfilling and rewarding and I truly looked forward to going to work every day! Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the citizens of Hidalgo County."

More arrests followed.

Police found Ricco Delgado unconscious on Dec. 19 and again on Feb. 7, according to McAllen Police Department records. Officers determined he had been abusing so-called “dusters” — cans of compressed air used to clean keyboards — to get high.

On Feb. 9, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office dispatched a deputy to the Delgado home.

Judge Delgado told the deputy Ricco had been acting aggressively and inhaling a duster, according to the criminal complaint. The deputy arrested Ricco Delgado.

Jailers released Ricco Delgado on Feb. 15. He was found dead 10 days later.

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