Published February 27, 2013
‘Modern Family’ star Sofia Vergara’s brother was gunned down in a hail of bullets in 1996, but his killers were never brought to justice.
Now The Enquirer says a private investigator has uncovered evidence that could lead to the cold case being reopened.
Rafael Jose Vergara was 26 – and his sister was 24 – when he was killed in his family’s hometown of Barranquilla, Colombia.
“We come from a successful family, and he knew he was a target for kidnapping,” Sofia Vergara once said in an interview. “He always had bodyguards. Then one day he went out alone and was shot dead. I was devastated.”
Now The Enquirer says P.I. Marcos Rubio visited her hometown along with an Enquirer reporter and found there are witnesses who have never spoken for fear of reprisals.
“I’ve learned that there were witnesses at the scene who were afraid to talk at the time, or may have been blackmailed,” Rubio told The Enquirer. “It’s time the police re-open this case so Sofia can finally get justice for her brother’s brutal killing.”
The Enquirer reports a family friend said there had been rumors that Rafael Vergara, who was married, was having an affair with the girlfriend of a local crime boss.
“All his friends told him to break it off, but Rafael wouldn’t listen,” the source said. “A lot of people believe that the mobster found out about Rafael and his girl and ordered the hit.”
Rubio says police never checked out those rumors.
“Clearly, the police investigation into Sofia’s brother’s death should focus on this organized crime boss and his associates,” Rubio said. “There is evidence that needs to be looked at in terms of their possible connection to the murder.”
Sofia Vergara’s rep did not immediately respond to FOX411's request for comment on the Enquirer report.