The 2003 homicide count stands at 15, with the most recent one being ruled a murder on Monday. The number compares to 11 murders in 2002, 10 of which have been solved. So, where does the Lubbock Police Department stand in solving 2003's homicides?
The 2003 year started off as a slow one for Lubbock's Homicide Detectives but quickly turned into a spring of crime, with three murders in three weeks. It was more of the same in the fall, with three murders in one month. But, the turnaround has been successful, with detectives working overtime to solve these crimes. Here's a look at where the murder investigations of 2003 stand now.
On March 17th, 26-year-old Christina Moreno was stabbed several times in the chest at 5718 Brownfield Drive, by her common law husband 29-year-old Armando Sandoval, who was charged with the murder.
Six days later on March 23rd 69-year-old Francisco Aguilar's common law wife Maria Saenz found her husband lying on the kitchen floor in a puddle of blood. Enedelia Sepeda was convicted of the murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
On March 31st, 27-year-old Dewayne Dermont Trotty was shot multiple times following an argument in the garden apartments and later died. Two days later 22-year-old Phillip Hudson turned himself for the murder.
In late June, 60-year-old Leroy Clarence Ward fatally shot his son-in-law, 40-year-old Michael Keith Jones, then turned the gun on himself. The two were apparently arguing over how to discipline Jones children. Ward recovered and was later charged.
In the early hours of August 16th, LPD responded to reports of a loud party at 1819 East 1st Place; an hour later, a fight broke out and 22-year-old Roberto Esquivel was found in the yard with multiple stab wounds, he died on the way to the hospital. Five days later 31-year-old Collie Willard was charged with the murder. Willard, you may remember should've been in jail at the time of the stabbing but had been released by mistake.
On September 21st, 50-year-old Frank Ramirez was shot and killed in front of his house in the 1300 block of Itasca. Antonio Coronado and Sylvester Garcia have been charged with the murder and remain in custody, a third suspect Timothy Garcia is still at large.
Two hours later, around 3 a.m., in the 1800 block of San Jose Drive, 40-year-Arturo Ordonez was found not breathing. He'd been hit in the head with a beer bottle and later died. 32-year-old Jose Amador was arrested for the murder but the charges were later dropped after a jury declined to return an indictment. Apparently the jury believed Amador was acting in self defense.
On October 19th, 39-year-old Ernesto Cabrera was shot and killed in the parking lot of 2136 50th street. Police say people from two vehicles were involved. Daniel Jiminez and Albert Jiminez are both charged with murder.
36-year-old Reynaldo Valdez Junior was gunned down in his front yard on October 24th. Police say Valdez was called over to a car in the 5800 block of 25th street. He was then shot six or seven times. No suspects have been arrested in this case, it remains unsolved.
On November 21st, following a 15 hour standoff at an apartment on 65th Drive and Avenue L. Michelle King was fatally shot by her ex boyfriend Jason Flowers, who then turned the gun on himself.
71-year-old Hulen Benson was robbed and then killed in his East Lubbock home on December 4th. Police have no suspects at this time, the murder remains unsolved.
Then just last week what started as a suicide report, turned into a homicide investigation. 18-year-old Leigh Rumbaugh's boyfriend called police and told them she had shot herself, but because of inconsistencies in his story, the case turned into a homicide investigation.
Two of the murder's counted in this years tally actually happened in 2002, but neither were ruled a homicide until 2003.
Of the three unsolved murders police could still use your help, so as always if you have any information, you are urged to call Crime Line at (806) 741-1000 .
Those 15 murders were within the city limits. But there were four inside Lubbock County in 2003.
First on January 15th, Jessie Salgado who was stabbed to death by Cynthia White. She is currently serving life in prison for murder.
Then Cynthia Palacio, who's body was found in July on the side of the road west of Slaton. It remains unsolved.
In October, Brad Calverly fatally shot his parents, Harry and Darlene Calverly in their Ransom Canyon home. He was later killed by Sheriff's deputies.