Investigators: The last voice for murder victims
Witnesses: The power to bring a killer to justice
Here’s an interesting story about a cold case in south Texas that caught my eye. It touches on a number of things common to Theresa’s case:
– No real evidence
– Strangled woman found near water
– The importance of witnesses coming forward
– The fear preventing witnesses from coming forward
– The lack of resources assigned to cold case investigators
Ann Marie Garcia’s case was revived when a witness, serving time for other crimes, came forward with new information.
I truly believe that in order for Theresa’s case to get some attention from law enforcement, it needs a witness and/or a confession. Somebody killed Theresa. And that somebody most surely has talked or raised the suspicion of friends, family or co-workers who know him/them. If you’re one of those people, find your voice.
Woman’s murder case reopened after years of questions
…Strangled, abused and dumped on the banks of a Delta-area canal, (Ann Marie Garcia’s) body was found on Oct. 23, 2003, by fishermen searching a field of tall weeds for bait.
…Investigators combed the scene for hours that fall morning but uncovered few clues as to who killed her or why. …For years her murder went unsolved. And it likely would have remained that way were it not for the efforts of one detective determined to follow the truth.
… the Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputy persisted, determined not to let her memory — like those of so many other victims of unsolved murders — fade away in a haze of mystery. …“These aren’t just names in a report — they’re people,” Garza said. “And as an investigator, you’re their last voice.”
…With limited time and resources, local authorities can rarely dedicate the manpower to sprawling, time-intensive investigations that have already ended in dead ends one time around.
… the answers modern tools delivered were often limited by the evidence originally collected at the crime scene, Garza said.
… deciding to reopen an unsolved murder like Ann Marie’s involves a complex rubric of criteria. Detectives must consider whether witnesses and suspects are still available for interviews and whether prosecutors feel they can successfully try the case. …Before expending long hours and department resources on a pursuit that could end as nothing more than a wild goose chase, investigators must determine the likelihood that the case will be closed, said Rudy Jaramillo, a former cold case detective with the Texas Rangers who spent years investigating the 1960 murder of McAllen beauty queen Irene Garza. That case remains open to this day.
…If there are no witnesses, no suspects and no crime scene left, these cases will still be almost impossible to wrap up,” he said.
…In many cold cases, witnesses become more cooperative as time passes, said Rudy Jaramillo, a former member of the Texas Rangers’ cold case squad. …“One thing you have on your side is time,” he said. “You can go back and talk to associates, and people are not as afraid as they were before.”
…But in Garcia’s case, the power the Mexican Mafia held over its current and former members far outweighed time.
You can read the rest of the story here: