Five years ago, a Lubbock man was beaten to death while at a New Year's Eve party. And to this day, the murder investigation remains unsolved. But now, Lubbock Police say they're closer than ever to bringing closure to this case.
The lead detective on this case says the investigation has had its share of hangups, but the trail has never grown cold. He says its only a matter of time before Jesse Ordonez's killer or killers are brought to justice.
Amanda Ordonez says she never hid the truth from her three young children about their father's death. She's been especially open with her oldest daughter, who was only five when her father was murdered.
"I told her father was gone, and he wasn't coming back. She wanted to know why, so I told her what happened. I didn't feel any need to hide it from her," says Ordonez.
And Amanda says being open, more than anything, has allowed her children continue to be children and has given them a well adjusted, normal childhood.
"There have been some emotions. It's not easy growing up in a single parent home, especially to have your father ripped away from you the way that he was," says Ordonez.
Jesse Ordonez was killed on New Year's Day morning in 1998. He was beaten beyond recognition and died from asphyxiation after choking on his own blood. Amanda last saw her husband when she dropped him off at the party earlier that night in the 2400 block of 3rd St. She says she had a bad feeling about it from the beginning.
"It's almost like he knew something was going to happen, like he got a vibe from God because his last words to me were, 'take care, be good, I love you,'" says Ordonez.
Corporal Roy Vieregge is the lead homicide detective on this case. Vieregge says his star witness died of a drug overdose, and other witnesses haven't been real cooperative. But he says despite some roadblocks, the case has never been off track.
"We would like someone who was at this party, that knows something, to come forward, and give us a statement. Give us a little bit of information so we can go to the DA's office and get this thing filed," says Vieregge.
Vieregge says that he's got two viable suspects he's keeping tabs on and believes he can file this case soon. That's closure Amanda Ordonez has hungered for for five years. Amanda says she has a message for anyone who can help her family get that closure.
"Walk a day in my shoes. Think about the impact that it has on my kids, my life. What I had to go through. There's no reason to be afraid. Nobody's gonna judge them, they simply know something. I just wish somebody would come forward," says Ordonez.
Anyone with information on Jesse Ordonez's death can call the Lubbock Police Crime Line at (806) 741-1000, or you can also call Detective Roy Vieregge direct at (806) 775-2407.