AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Texas Department of Public Safety, the Office of the Governor, and Texas Crime Stoppers have created the Fallen Hero Reward – Texas Remembers program.
The new program, funded by the Governor's Criminal Justice Division and administered by DPS, is designed to help generate new investigative leads in unresolved or cold cases involving a Texas law enforcement officer or first responders who were murdered or suffered an incapacitating injury while in the line of duty or while acting in an official capacity.
Since there is no statute of limitations on the offense of murder, DPS feels the state has the moral obligation to pursue these cases to a successful resolution, or until no other lead is viable.
DPS Trooper Cindy Barkley said closing these cases is important because it will bring closure to many families. "Unresolved murders are very important because there's families who don't have closure on these cases, on why they died, and who killed them," Barkley said.
For years, paying rewards to anonymous tipsters has been a been a method that has worked to apprehend criminals in Texas, and the Fallen Hero Reward program is also seeking the help of tipsters.
The DPS is encouraging those with any information on these cases, even if it's from years ago, to report it. "Some people may have seen something way back then that they did not feel comfortable reporting at that time, but they can always call in anonymously," Barkley said.
The first case featured in the program is the 1974 murder of Harris County Deputy Edd Williams, who was shot and killed 42 years ago.
On January 12, 1974, Williams was murdered during the course of a robbery at the Victoria Manor Apartments in Houston. The suspects in the case at the time were two black males in their early 20s, who would be in their early to mid-60s today. A reward up to $20,000 is offered for information that results in this case being solved.
Barkley said the DPS will never stop investigating these cases. "The Texas Rangers are not going to give up on cold cases, they'll investigate until there is nothing further to investigate," Barkley said.
To be eligible for a cash reward, anyone with information about is asked to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-8477, text DPS and your tip to 274637, or submit a tip online.
Any agencies that may have an unresolved or cold case that meets the criteria for the Fallen Hero Reward program, should email Texas Crime Stoppers.