5 Notorious Unsolved Cold Cases in Austin, Texas

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Despite around 170 cold cases in Austin, Texas, the state’s capital is one of the safest large cities in the United States.

Here are five unsolved cold cases in Austin that the Austin Police Department (APD) still have on their books.

5 Notorious Unsolved Cold Cases in Austin, Texas

Susan Leigh Wolfe

When: 9th January 1980.

Susan was walking from her residence to a friend’s house, where she had planned to stay the night because her residence had been exterminated for roaches.

She was spotted walking eastbound on Franklin Boulevard when two men wearing trench coats abducted her and forced her into a Dodge Polara. The witness suspected the vehicle had been involved in a recent collision.

One day later, on 10th January, a resident found Susan’s partially clothed body in a nearby alley. An autopsy confirmed she had been sexually assaulted and shot dead.

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Ruth Helene Case

When: 15th January 1986.

30-year-old mother and hospital worker Ruth was reported missing by her husband, after she failed to collect their daughters from school.

Ruth was also a full-time student when she disappeared. Her husband, Allan, became a suspect but was discounted quickly due to having an alibi.

She was last seen leaving her chemistry class shortly before noon on the 15th, and her car was found abandoned less than 100 metres away. A search of the area at the time proved fruitless.

Three months later, on 21st March 1986, a housing authority supervisor discovered the decomposing corpse of a female. The skeletal remains were identified as Ruth’s.

The location she was found had been derelict for many months and her body had remained hidden from view. The police had no leads to follow, and the case has been cold for almost 40 years.

Paula Hernandez

When: 26th August 1996.

The night of her murder, 29-year-old shoe salesperson and mother of four Paula was being driven home from work by her male friend, Randy Salazar.

When he pulled into Paula’s driveway, an unidentified suspect fired several shots at the car. Paula was rushed to hospital where she died of her wounds the same night.

The suspect was described as a white or Hispanic male with muscular build. He was alleged to have been waiting for the car to turn into the driveway and had set up an ambush. He drove away from the scene in a dark-coloured unidentified vehicle.

Paula had no known enemies and there was no obvious motive behind the attack. No suspects have ever been found and the case remains unsolved.

Larry Dean Flint

When: 9th August 1993.

Larry was driving home alone when he stopped at the intersection of Riverside and Montopolis in his 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass.

Witnesses saw another smaller vehicle in the outside lane pull up next to him. A male suspect opened the driver’s door, leaned out and fired a shot.

Larry was killed instantly by the single gunshot wound. The suspect’s car drove off through a nearby parking lot and headed westbound on East Riverside Drive at a high speed. He was never identified.

For almost 30 years, Larry’s murder has been one of the most infamous unsolved cold cases in Austin.

John R. Leebrick

When: 16th December 1984.

When John’s estranged girlfriend went to visit him at his apartment on the 16th of December, she found his body in the upstairs bedroom.

He had been shot multiple times and had been killed five days earlier on the 11th. Many people were questioned but no suspect was identified.

At the time of his death, other residents in the block reported seeing a green Volkswagen Beetle with a suspicious driver. Neither the driver nor car has ever been found.

Police at the time suspected the motive to be robbery. For almost 40 years, the murder has remained unsolved.

If you have any information on any of the above cold cases in Austin, contact the APD Cold Case-Homicide Unit at: apdcoldcasemissingpersons@austintexas.gov.

READ NEXT: 20 Most Infamous Unsolved Cold Cases in American History

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