Arrest made in 24-year-old cold case for the murder of a Lorenzo - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Arrest made in 24-year-old cold case for the murder of a Lorenzo man

By Michael Slother - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Lorenzo family has asked "why" for more than two-decades. Now, they're hopeful a new arrest in their loved one's death can provide the answer.

Monday night, authorities in Wichita Falls arrested 48-year-old Johnny Ray Klein. He's accused in the 1986 murder of Florencio Calzada. Calzada's family found out about the arrest on Tuesday.

His daughter and sister both said they were shocked when they heard police had made an arrest. Calzada's sister Rosa Maria told NewsChannel 11 the family has been down this road before. She said about 10 years ago authorities told her they thought they found a suspect. She hopes the man responsible for her brother's death is behind bars.

Calzada's family describes him as the kind of person who would always help others. Now they hope his suspected killer will help them in their quest for closure. "At least maybe we'll get some answers of why," Rosa Maria continued. "What was the reason behind it, what was the motive?"

Police say Calzada was found dead in a bar-ditch off Interstate 27 in December of 1986. He was found near Wayside, Texas in between Plainview and Amarillo. At the time of the murder, authorities didn't have a suspect or a motive. But Lieutenant Gary Trupe with Potter-Randall Special Crimes Unit says that all changed in October when someone came forward with new information, including an eye-witness. "But after going back into the reports and seeing some of the pictures, we were able to go back and confirm that this person's information was very specific," Trupe said. 

Rosa Maria is appreciative witnesses reported the information, but wished answers would have come sooner. "They should have came out then, not 25 years later," she said. 

At the time of his death, Calzada's youngest daughter Monica was just 2 years old. "I feel some closure, so I might be able to say that he's resting in peace now," Monica told us, holding back tears. 

"They were always wondering what had happened to their family member, and specifically what happened and maybe who did this to him.  Hopefully we brought them a little closure, maybe.  Maybe we can answer some more of those questions as time goes on," said Trupe. 

Rosa Maria says she wants her brother to know she loves him. "He's just a wonderful person and has been missed all these years." 

Klein remains in the Wichita county jail with a bond of 100,000. He is expected to be moved to Randall County where the incident took place.

©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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