Police continue to search for a killer or killers, nearly a year after 39-year-old Armando Ybarra was stabbed to death right outside a downtown Lubbock church.
A passerby discovered Ybarra's body last August outside St. Elizabeth's on Broadway. Now, a year later, police continue to check leads, but still no suspects have been arrested in connection with this case.
As the unsolved murder mystery extends from days, to weeks, to months and now a year, the family of Ybarra still struggles to come to terms with their loss. "It's hard knowing that there's someone out there who knows something, but won't come forward," says Armando's sister Juanita Ybarra.
Ybarra's family can't help but express their disappointment that the death of their brother, son, uncle, father is still unsolved. "We're adults, but if you as an adult can't deal with it, how can we expect a child to deal with it," says Armando's sister Linda Galaviz.
Detective Richard Calderon says the case has been hard to crack because there were no eyewitnesses, other than of course those involved with the murder who haven't come forward. "Even if he had screamed or yelled, no one would have probably heard it."
Ybarra was stabbed in the street at Broadway and Avenue W, next to St. Elizabeth's. It happened sometime between 2 a.m., August 23, 2002 and 8 a.m. It happened in a predominantly business district. "A bystander flagged down an officer," says Calderon.
But what happened before that gruesome discovery remains the mystery. Here's what police do know. From 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Ybarra was at the Fenix Club on Main and Avenue X. After that, he walked to the Luxor Club on 4th Street. Then, after 2 a.m. he got in a car with three people. "They left Luxor to go get some gas. They ended up making it to the 7-11 at 19th and X. According to the driver, they pulled up to 7-11 directly in front of phone booth here," says Calderon.
That's when police say Ybarra left on foot. Six hours later, he was found dead a few blocks away.
For Ybarra's 15-year-old daughter Shirley, the pain is especially intense. "It's been hard. Someone took my dad away. They don't know the pain I go through every day not having a dad."
Armando's mother Clarita says the waiting is the hardest part. The family prays someone who knows something will come forward and clear their conscience. "I never expected it to happen to my family and it did."
If you have any information about this crime, call the Crime Line at (806) 741-1000. Or call Detective Calderon direct at (806) 775-2403.