The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation Team are asking for the public’s help in solving the 1982 murder of Monica “Christie” Wilson in Liberty, Texas. As part of a public awareness program launched last month, DPS is featuring one unsolved case each month in an effort to generate new investigative leads and bring added attention to unresolved or “cold cases” across the state.
At midnight on Aug. 26, 1982, Wilson left the convenience store – known as “Snappy’s” at the time – in Liberty where she worked as a clerk. The next day, her body was found by a passing motorist in a secluded area of Liberty County, which includes the town of Liberty. Wilson’s 1969 Pontiac Lemans convertible – orange with a black soft top – was later found abandoned in Liberty. At the time of her death, Wilson was 19 years old and recently married.
Texas Ranger Erik Burse, who is based in Liberty County, said the Rangers are announcing the reopening of the investigation in the hopes of getting the community involved.
Ranger Brandon Bess, who took over the Liberty part of the agency in 2013, said the Rangers became involved in the investigation around 1987. According to Bess, some documents from the original investigation were lost to storm damage at the Liberty Police Department over the years.
Logan Pickett, Liberty County District Attorney, hopes a suspect can be identified and prosecuted for the sake of the victim’s family.
“The family needs closure,” Pickett said. “It’s an open wound that’s never going to heal.”
Liberty resident Steve Lunceford remembers the murder that rocked the small town.
“I’ve hoped for years they would do this and get it solved,” Lunceford said.
Montgomery County Crime Stoppers, which also serves Liberty County, is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the death of Wilson. To be eligible for the cash reward, the tip must be submitted by calling 1-800-392-7867 or visiting the Montgomery County Crime Stoppers website at http://montgomerycountycrimestoppers.org/.
Anyone with information can also submit a tip thru the Texas Rangers’ Cold Case website or contact the Missing Persons Clearinghouse at 1-800-346-3243.
The Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation Team was created to assist Texas law enforcement agencies investigating unsolved murders or what appear to be serial or linked criminal transactions. Since there is no statute of limitations for the offense of murder, investigators pursue these cases to a successful resolution; or until no other lead is viable.
In addition, DPS created the Texas Rangers’ Unsolved Homicides webpage aimed at renewing public interest in unsolved cases. The site features the division’s Top 12 Unsolved Cold Case Investigations, which includes two cases from each of the state’s six DPS regions. For more information, visit the Texas Rangers’ Cold Case website at: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/TexasRangers/UnsolvedHomicides/index.htm