One year ago Thursday, Elizabeth Ennen, 15, was reported missing by her mother, while the person who is accused of killing her stood right by her side.
Humberto Salinas, Jr., 46, is charged with capital murder and aggravated kidnapping. He is currently behind bars at the Lubbock County Detention Center with a $1 million bond. Salinas has a plea negotiation conference coming up where the state and the defense will discuss the case.
These negotiations, scheduled for Jan. 12, are scheduled automatically for every criminal case.
Lubbock Criminal District Attorney Matt Powell says prosecutors have not yet made a decision whether or not to seek the death penalty in this case and they are not negotiating with Salinas at this time.
In Texas, you cannot plea bargain a death penalty case. So there's no plea to discuss unless the D.A.'s office takes the death penalty off the table.
Salinas is accused of strangling Ennen. Police say he kidnapped her from the Carriage House Motel where she was baby-sitting his two children on January 4th, 2011.
Humberto Salinas, Jr. and his son were friends of the Ennen family the time of her disappearance.
Police say Salinas initially gave them false reports, sending them in another direction before eventually leading them to her body in a field in northwest Lubbock County.
Sixteen days after her disappearance, police requested surveillance video from the motel. Police examined the video and issued a warrant for Salinas' arrest.
According to Salinas' arrest warrant, Ennen agreed to baby-sit at the Carriage House at 6:18 p.m. on January 4th. At 10:48 p.m., the video shows Salinas returning. An hour passes and Elizabeth is seen leaving the room in a hurry, trying to put on her shoes and jacket. Salinas follows her, grabs her arm, and brings her back to the room.
Less than ten minutes later - at midnight - she is seen trying to get away a second time, but Salinas chases her. Obviously frightened, she cowers in the corner while Salinas grabs her and forces her into the parking lot. The kids stay behind. Salinas leaves with Elizabeth. He is gone for 30 minutes and returns alone. Elizabeth was reported missing around 1:30 a.m. on January 5th.
Salinas went to the Ennen's house early in the morning on Jan. 5. He told Ennen's mother he had dropped Elizabeth off and she forgot her purse. Police say Salinas actually helped Ennen's mother file the missing person's report. After Ennen was reported missing, Salinas tried to implicate his own son.
Ennen was laid to rest Jan. 28.
Copyright 2012 KCBD NewsChannel 11