Search continues for 14-year-old Garland triple murder suspect

U.S. Marshals are helping Garland police search for a 14-year-old who is an accused killer.

It's been more than a month since a teen opened fire and killed three other teenagers at a Texaco, and police admit they do not know where he is.

Police are still pouring through phone records and social media accounts. But right now, they say the tips and information coming in are vague. 

Meanwhile, the families impacted are wondering how a 14-year-old could vanish without a trace going on more than a month. 

Police said Abel Acosta, 14, shot and killed three teenagers at a Garland gas station the day after Christmas. Investigators believe he was targeting one of them in retaliation for an earlier incident.

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17-year-old Rafael Garcia and 16-year-old Ivan Noyola went to the gas station together and were both killed. Prior to the shooting, investigators say at least one of them reported back in November that they were shot at by a group of teens who Acosta associates with.

However, 14-year-old Xavier Gonzales was an innocent bystander, stopping by the gas station alone to get tacos for his family. The cook behind the counter was also shot but survived. 

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For Erica Gonzales, the loss of her nephew Xavier is still fresh. 

"It feels like it was just yesterday," she said. 

Erica placed fresh flowers where Xavier was laid to rest. 

"Even standing here next to him, I cannot believe that’s him. That he was taken the way he was taken from us," she said. "We can’t just understand how he disappeared overnight."

Garland police say they are still utilizing all possible resources, including the U.S. Marshals who specialize in tracking down fugitives. 

"We still don’t know where Abel Acosta is," said Garland Police Lt. Pedro Barineau.

A special task force assigned to the case is following up on leads and tips. But so far, police say all have been too broad. 

"They name cities in Mexico. They name cities in Texas," Barineau said. "It’s all rumors. Like, we are hearing this and hearing that. "Right now though, we don’t know if he’s in the country or out of the country."

Abel Acosta father, Richard Acosta, sits in the Dallas County jail charged with capital murder. Investigators say the 33-year-old drove his son to and from the gas station.

During initial interviews, police say Richard Acosta didn’t provide any helpful information, including where is son could be headed. 

"He is 14. We believe he is getting help from somebody," Barineau said.

The Gonzales family and police are still hoping a $10,000 reward for any information will help while holding out hope justice is coming. 

"We want him to pay for what he did," Erica said. "We want him to be found."

Police say Abel is considered armed and dangerous. Investigators still haven’t located the murder weapon. Police are still unsure how he was able to get his hands on the gun he used in the shooting. 

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