Texas Bexar County Cold Case Unit disbanded is a set back for the families of Patty Vaughan and Tracy Allen.
Whoever did this to Tracy knew the area very well. Aside from a few newspaper articles and my post, Tracy’s case does not have a lot of media presence.
On Dec. 25, 1996, Patty Vaughan disappeared from her home and has never seen again. She is presumed dead.
Patty’s blue 1991 Dodge Caravan was discovered on December 26, 1996, one day after she was last seen. It was abandoned on the shoulder of Loop 1604, just west of Highway 37 in South Bexar County, with the driver’s side front tire deflated.
On May 15, 2008, after Bexar County investigators had taken over the cold case, they decided to investigate a pile of clothes found inside Patty’s caravan. They found a red workman’s jumpsuit inside a pile of men’s clothing on which Vaughan’s blood was found back in 1996.
“What jumped out is that this jumpsuit seemed to be a worker… automotive repair or plumbing,” Officer Ramirez said. Of course, that pile of clothing should have been scrutinized long before these officers decided to take over the case and it makes you wonder what else was in the caravan …
“JM” could be a person, a company, a brand or, a personal abbreviation. I would like to know what the quality was of that jumpsuit, the brand, manufacturer, where was it sold, how was the stitching of the emblem (by machine or by hand), was there anything else on the shirt such as written initials on the inside tag or any other biological residue that can be tested for DNA? Is this a case for the M-Vac?
In My San Antonio Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said that the two-person cold case unit is being disbanded and the office’s 120 unsolved murder cases will be divvied up among investigators starting Oct. 1.
Years ago, a grant created the unit, which has since been staffed by patrol officers Louis Antu and Adrian Ramirez, whose jobs are to investigate only cold cases. But after an August study of the Sheriff’s Office’s operations, Pamerleau said, she has decided that the cases would be better handled by others.
“We determined a more effective way of addressing cold cases was by placing this function with our investigators instead of just patrol officers, who were doing a good job,” Pamerleau said.
Aside from removing Antu and Ramirez from the unit, though, details on how cold cases will be investigated in the future are scant. Pamerleau said she isn’t sure where Antu and Ramirez will be reassigned, and it’s not exactly clear how the cold cases will be divvied up.”
I can only hope that we will hear very soon what Sheriff Pamerleau’s plans are for all their cold cases. Is there a possibility to extend the grant that created the unit in the first place?
Every time I read about a dismantled cold case unit I fear that even more victims will be forgotten. Let’s hope this will not be the case.