Police looking to solve 34-year-old murder cold case
By Adam Shear
HEWITT - A Central Texas Police Department thinks it is time to solve a murder that happened more than 30 years ago, but with the evidence they have that might be a difficult task.
On April 4, 1978, the Hewitt Police Department found a man who was shot and killed stuffed into a concrete culvert off of Sun Valley Rd., near the Hewitt Dr. intersection. However, after months of investigating police were not able to find any leads or suspects and dropped the case.
With new crime solving technology though, the current Hewitt Chief of Police believes now is the perfect time to re-open this case and find the murderer.
"There has been no resolution," said Chief Jim Devlin, Hewitt Police Department. "We need to continue that work [from 1978] and bring some justice to the family."
That family might not even know their relative died, because police were not able to identify the victim ever. Police believe that with current DNA technology and other strong identifiers on the victims body they may be able to figure out who the man is now.
Police say the victim was wearing a distinctive shirt when he was found, he had a "peace" tattoo on his left forearm, another tattoo on his left arm of a heart with a cross inside of it, and a "R. B." tattoo on his right arm. He was in his 20's when he was shot to death, about 5'8", weighed 120 lbs, and had brown hair.
In addition to asking for the publics help to identify the man, police also put up a picture of the victim on the NAMUS website (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System) hoping to get some more information about the victim.
"We're hoping that would spawn someone who sees it," said Devlin. "That way we can find out who this individual is and at least get this person identified and begin to work this case."
Some of the major problems for police are the drastic changes that have occurred at the crime scene since the 1970s. There have been several construction projects, including widening the road and adding a bridge.
Police say the construction there has left them with no additional crime scene evidence to gather, but that is not the only place they are having trouble solving the case.
"[The road blocks we have are] time frame, evidence collection [from 1978], you know some deterioration of evidence that we have," said Devlin. "We do have some [evidence], but in what condition or how great of condition it's in is going to be subject during the testing."
Even with the small amount of DNA evidence they have, police say they are still very determined to find the victim's murder; whether they are already dead or still alive.
"As long as we can pinpoint [the evidence] to an individual and say this is the suspect and this is the one who committed this offence there will be some type of closure," said Devlin. "However, if the individual who committed this act is still alive, well then we're going to go full force and go ahead and prosecute them."
Anyone with information regarding this case should contact the Hewitt Police Department at (254) 666-6272.
Police say they are uncertain if the murder actually took place in McLennan Co. because the crime scene in 1978 appeared to just be where the body was dumped off.
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