Elizabeth Barraza: The Mystery of Her Death

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Who killed Elizabeth Barraza? Investigators weigh in 5 years later’ by KPRC 2 Click2Houston

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

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How does it work?
Five-year-old unsolved murder case with surprising lack of progress; changing relationships; improved technology and assistance from FBI and Texas Rangers; revisiting interviews and evidence; non-random crime with open possibilities; cooperation from family members; diligent follow-up on tips; focus on technology and online activities; investigator unfazed by lack of progress.

Key Insights

  • The video discusses a five-year-old unsolved murder case.
  • The original lead investigator on the case expresses surprise at the lack of progress in solving it.
  • Time is now considered to be on their side in solving the case, as relationships and loyalties may have changed.
  • Technology has improved since 2019, and the FBI and Texas Rangers are assisting in the investigation.
  • The investigator goes back to the initial interviews and evidence, looking for new perspectives or reasons for the crime.
  • The behavior of the killer suggests the crime was not random, but they remain open to all possibilities.
  • Interviews with family members, including the husband, indicate their cooperation and desire to find the killer.
  • Many tips continue to come in, even from web sleuths, and they are followed up on diligently.
  • Utilizing technology, including DNA analysis and examining online activities, is a focal point for the investigation.
  • Nothing would surprise the investigator at this point, given the lack of progress in solving the case.

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Transcript

This morning we are taking a further look inside of the timeline of that day. Our own Corley Peel is here with us this morning as well as Sergeant Michael Ritchie with homicide in Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Good morning. Thank you both for being with us.

Good morning. Okay, Sergeant, we will start with you five years now. And did you ever think that it would get to this point? Five years with with not cracking the case yet?

No, I did not. I was the original lead investigator on this. So I do remember getting the call that morning and heading out to the scene. And like I’ve told so many interviews before, when I was watching the surveillance video that was provided by the neighbors, I really felt like we could actually have this solved that day. But that definitely has not been the case.

Yeah, Corley, we’re used to following stories, but five years later, it’s like no development, right? And you were talking to me earlier about about time and a lot of times right after a murder that you know you want to solve it right away. But now you’re saying with all these years past that time is actually on your side. Can you expand on that?

Well, so the sergeant that was my supervisor that that day out of the scene, Eric Clegg, he was a longtime cold case investigator. And one thing that he told me that a lot of times when you’re working an investigation, you know, you have that famous show the 1st 48 that that’s a lot of times time is working against you when when you’re first out there when you first get there. It was the case when we did this on in in 2019. Um, but as time goes on, you know, it can, it can reverse and it can kind of be on your side. For instance, relationships change, loyalties change. Uh, for instance, the person that did this could could be in prison or deceased or they’re divorced or they’re not with the person they were before. So there’s different loyalties and everything to that helps us that we’re kind of trying to utilize right now.

Technology, definitely technology has changed a lot from 2019 out to 2000 and 24. And that’s kind of you have the FBI and Texas Rangers helping out with that aspect as well. Throughout the investigation, Texas Rangers were involved, had a contact with them and also an FBI agent that us at the sheriff’s office would use. So we have definitely reached out to other agencies that definitely have more resources than than the sheriff’s office would. So we’ve definitely been utilizing them really for the entire investigation.

Do you start from the very beginning when you’re going over these cases, you go right through and kind of with a fine tooth comb. What is the strategy?

Well, what I’ve done, you know, as this case has has gone on, a lot of times I’ve gone back to my first interviews of that day and I reread my supplemental reports that I completed and I’m going to listen to interviews. I’ve listened to the we had I think 3911 callers. I listened to the 911 tapes. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched that video. And so I try to sometimes think outside the box and sometimes investigators, you get focused or tunnel vision on one, I guess, uh, scenario that you think why this occurred or how it occurred. And so sometimes I try to take a step back and and look, hey, is there a different reason why this occurred? There was everything about the killer’s behavior didn’t seem random, but but maybe it was random. I mean, what’s your thought on that?

Well, I’ve been, I’ve been open to anything over the years since again, since we haven’t been able to solve it, I’ve been open to anything and I’ve told a lot of people that I wouldn’t any. I don’t think right now nothing would surprise me. Uh, our general, um, I guess, uh, theory about it or we definitely thought that it wasn’t random and due to due to again can’t, I mean, it did take forever to talking about everything of why, but through interviews, through talking with families, talking with friends, uh, the timeline of what transpired that day and just the actions and the behavior of the shooter. I don’t feel it was random, but is it possible? Yes.

Now, Corley, you have spoken with members of the family. You’ve spoken with the husband. Tell us about what that interview was like. Elizabeth’s husband’s interview.

Yeah, I mean, he was still very emotional. I know a lot of people have pointed fingers at him over the past few years about, you know, that he had something to do with this. A lot of people on social media pointing blame at him. But he said he loved her very much. Um, they were planning to go on their anniversary trip days after that garage sale. Um, he said that they were best friends, that they were extremely close and that he wants to make sure that the killer is found just as much as anybody else. So, um, he seemed very emotional about it, especially five years later that, you know, an arrest still hasn’t been made.

Yeah. And then, Sergeant, you said that he’s been cooperative as has the entire family. There’s nothing in that particular situation that would lead you to believe they’re hiding something at this point.

No, the husband has been totally cooperative with us and myself, uh, throughout the entire investigation again. I still speak to him. I just spoke to him last week. Uh, same thing with the Nelly’s. Bob and Rosemary have been very supportive of us and the sheriff’s officer at the investigation and their son and friends and family, other family members and friends of Liz, the lot of people from the 501st that they were involved in. I have gotten nothing but support and cooperation through anyone that I’ve I’ve spoken to. And so again, just another another thing that just makes this more frustrating that we can’t get this solved for the Barraza and Nelly family.

Any new tips or leads that you’re able to share with us that y’all have gotten over the past five years?

So with that, with that being said, we get we still get numerous tips all the time and sometimes we have to follow every tip. Now, sometimes tips can be, um, a little out there from different people. We have people from out of this. I mean, from a different country, uh, that that are interested in this case. There’s a ton of web sleuths that we get tips from or that send emails or phone calls that they’re telling us what they think and this and that. Watch this part of the video or you should look at this person. We get a range of different type of tips and things that that we still follow and and look at. But one thing that I’ve been trying to focus on the last few months here is what I mentioned about technology in the last five years. And so we’re trying to, uh, utilize, uh, technology with our crime scene units with the Texas Rangers. Um, with speaking with the serology lab through DNA and also looking at different warrants by using different, um, trying to get into using different, I guess, uh, websites and things like that, that maybe the suspect could have used that we could, um, access and maybe find out who who was possibly trying to plan this if it was planned. So again, we’re looking at a lot of different things because, like I said, a lot of things have changed over the last five years with technology.

So you gotta look everywhere because, as you said, I mean, nothing would surprise you at this point, right?

Sergeant Corley, thanks for your guys time this morning. Appreciate you.

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Who killed Elizabeth Barraza? Investigators weigh in 5 years later’ by KPRC 2 Click2Houston