Catching a Criminal: Inside Police Investigations - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/25/05

Catching a Criminal: Inside Police Investigations

Police are still actively investigating the quadruple murder, and say they believe they have a suspect in the case. The problem is, they don't know the identity of the man. In two recent cases, police have used eye witnesses and paper trails to find the perpetrators, but in the quadruple murder, both of those clues are scarce. NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel looked at all three cases to show what resources investigators use when catching a criminal.

Authorities have solved two major cases recently. One in a matter of weeks, and the other in a matter of days, but for the Cooper family, it has been exactly one year, and still no arrests. In some of the recently solved cases, it only took a paper trail and a brave witness to catch the alleged criminals.

10/25/05
New Leads in Year Old Quadruple Murder
Lubbock police are searching for the same killer they were exactly one year ago, the man who murdered an East Lubbock mother, Tammy Cooper, and her three children. NewsChannel 11 found there are new leads in the case and Darcy Tucker talks to Tammy's mother one year later.

Francisco Santana is now in jail after being accused of tying up an Anton woman, raping her, and then beating her husband nearly to death. Hockley County sheriff's were able to track down Santana thanks to two major tips. First, the victim, who was able to escape the assault, contacted police and gave an accurate/detailed description of Santana. That description then led to numerous phone calls on Santana's whereabouts. David Kinney, Hockley County Sheriff said that day about the arrest, "That's what helped, we kept getting calls, people kept telling us 'I've seen him here', 'I've seen him there.' So we knew he was still around."

But the Cooper murders were different. The family was new to Lubbock, and didn't know many people, making it difficult to find witnesses. Detective Rey Martinez said, "This investigation is still underway and we're still identifying people that had contact with the victim in the past."

In another grewsome murder on September 12th a pregnant woman was found stuffed in a suitcase in a landfill. Rosendo Rodriguez the third is being charged for the murder. Lubbock police made an arrest two days later thanks to the serial number on the suitcase. From that number, they were able to track a debit purchase at Wal-mart from Rodriguez, confirm the purchase from video surveillance, and later track other debit purchases made in San Antonio, where they then were able to arrest and transport Rodriguez. Interim District Attorney Matt Powell commented back in September, "I would imagine that when a lady was found out at the landfill the chances of getting that case solved was fairly slim. Here we are 48 hours later with a suspect in custody."

This case proves anything is possible, leaving police optimistic about solving the Cooper murders. Although they don't have eye witnesses, or a paper trail, here's what they do know; a black man visited the home around 11 Sunday night, just an hour before the murders. He knew the victim, and came alone. Police believe that man is their suspect. Martinez said, "We still have a lot of leads, we're not short on leads, we hope here in the near future we can determine who that visitor was."

An $11,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information on the murder of Tammy Cooper and her three children. If you have any tips that might help police you are urged to call Crime Line at (806) 741-1000.

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