Amarillo Police Close To Solving Some Murders, Far On Others

by Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, TX- Some unsolved murders in our area may not go unsolved for much longer.

We begin with the shooting death of Donald Lutz.  You may remember the billboards around town. The local business owner was killed in his home on Halloween of 2003.  Lt. Gary Trupe of Potter-Randall Special Crimes says, "we're still looking for information. We have some people we feel that may be involved in that case but we lack the details to be able to file that."

The same is true in the July 2004 death of Kenneth Cottrell.  He was shot dead in his home on Crockett by someone police believe Cottrell knew.

Trupe says he knows who is responsible for the arson deaths of Mary and Donnie Ellis in their home at the Meridian apartments in April of 2007.  Trupe says, "we have a person of interest in that we have attempted to do some things with, however we've never been able to get enough to file charges on that person."

Another frustrating case for police: the May 2003 shooting death of Jose Mata outside an Amarillo bar...where there were reportedly several witnesses.

In some other area cases, police have some information, but need much more.

In March 2003 scene is Jason Fisher was found stabbed near Givens road.  Lt. Trupe says if whoever did it comes forward, it could be billed as justifiable because "there may be some self defense characteristics in that one if that person was ever to come forward."

That is not the case in the September 2004 death of Raul Lozano, who was killed in a mobile home in broad daylight.  Trupe says, "we never could figure out anybody he was enemies with or anything else as to why he, he didn't have a lot of money, didn't speak English very well, why he would be a target."

Nor can they find who beat Gustavo Ferrusquilla to death in the parking lot of a nightclub.

And now for cases which police have very few clues:

A area near I-40 and Whitaker road is where Crystal Booker's body was dumped after she was strangled to death in January of 2008.  Amarillo police have very few facts on her reason her case is now one of many in an FBI database.  Lt. Trupe says, "they have a specific deal for truck stops and truckers in one of their databases and we've submitted it to them for comparison to see if there's any comparison to others across the United States."

Ryan Garcia's 2008 death also remains a mystery, and Trupe says he does not even know for sure if his is a homicide.  Since we updated you a few months ago on his disappearance and death, Trupe says they have no new leads.

The same is true in the case of Sherry Mondragon, who was found wrapped in a unique rug this past April.  Trupe says, "unbelievable as it may sound, we have had not one call, one tip through crime stoppers, anything on anybody seeing anything on that carpet."

Trupe says Mondragon had no ties to the house she was found in, so whoever killed her knew a lot about it.

Information on any of these cases can anonymously be given to Crime Stoppers at 374-4400 or through .