BAILEY COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - New Home Independent School District confirms that it has placed an elementary school teacher on administrative leave following a reality television program that questioned the teacher about an unsolved homicide.
Oxygen's true crime investigative series "Cold Justice" returned for season five in August.
The series follows veteran prosecutor Kelly Siegler and her rotating team of detectives as they dig into small-town murder cases that have lingered years without answers or justice for victims.
The "Cold Justice" team works with local law enforcement from across the country to help solve crimes.
These investigations are credited with bringing about 37 arrests and 18 convictions.
On September 1st, the "Cold Justice" team traveled to Bailey County to investigate the 2006 unsolved homicide of 25-year-old Jonathan "Wongo" Kindle.
The Bailey County Sheriff's Office worked with investigators and Siegler to identify and question two potential suspects.
One of the suspects identified in the episode is a New Home ISD elementary school teacher.
Superintendent Shane Fielder told KCBD, "The producers of that television program strongly suggest the possibility that a particular person was likely responsible for the homicide. The program interviewed the person, who denied any culpability in the crime and maintained their innocence. The person is an employee of New Home ISD."
When the superintendent learned of this matter, he placed the employee on paid administrative leave pending further investigation into the circumstances of the allegations.
Fiedler said he contacted law enforcement to determine what further action, if any, might be needed in light of the relevant facts of the case.
"Those communications with law enforcement are currently ongoing, and the District will cooperate with law enforcement to the fullest extent permitted by law," a New Home ISD press release stated.
No arrests have been made and Bailey County Sheriff Richard Wills would not confirm to KCBD that the teacher they focused on in the episode was a person of interest in the case, so KCBD has chosen not to name the teacher.
Wills did confirm that Fiedler reached out to him about the case, but said he is not sharing any details at this time.
Wills said they are still investigating and are currently following up on a credible tip the sheriff's office received after the "Cold Justice" episode aired.