DNA Tests Reveal Identity of Remains Found Two Years Ago - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/20/08

DNA Tests Reveal Identity of Remains Found Two Years Ago

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Tonight a homicide investigation receives a break in the case.

DNA tests reveal the remains found two years ago at Yellow House Canyon are that of 17-year-old Bernard O'Niell Wilson. He was a student at Coronado High School.

In a news conference held Wednesday afternoon, Lubbock County Sheriff David Gutierrez says they will continue to vigilantly search for Wilson's killer or killers.

Bernard was not at home to celebrate his 17th birthday on December 27th four years ago. In fact authorities believe he might have been killed somewhere close to that date. His family thought he had simply run away, until his sister saw a composite sketch on NewsChannel 11.

"There had been several times where he had run away before and he had come back," says Sharhonda McMurray.

So when 16-year-old Bernard went missing a week before Christmas in 2004, his family and older sister, Sharhonda, assumed he was acting out once again.

"The LISD police did come by and my mother did tell them Bernard had run away. I assume mother took that as the missing person report," says Sharhonda.

One year later authorities discovered a skull near Buffalo Springs Lake, but Sharhonda never once thought it could be her brother. She even remembers seeing the first composite sketch on TV, but the face belonged to someone she did not know.

"It didn't really look anything like my brother," says Sharhonda.

But then a second sketch released in December 2007, three years after Bernard went missing, caught her eye.

"I just happened to glance at the TV and it was on KCBD and it was like a portrait and I knew at that time it was my brother," says Sharhonda.

DNA testing would ultimately confirm Sharhonda's worst fear.

"When we heard it, we were just shocked. Then it turned into sorrow and a little bit of anger," says Sharhonda.

Evidence also revealed that Bernard had suffered traumatic injuries.

"I pray every night that it was quick and that he didn't suffer. I know he must have been scared," says Sharhonda.

But her brother's violent death isn't the only thing that haunts Sharhonda.

"I remember the last argument with my brother. I was telling him, ‘if you don't want to abide by the rules of the house then leave' and I just don't have the chance to take that back," says Sharhonda.

Sharhonda says she will now hunt for the person or persons who preyed on her little brother that December night four years ago.

"I know someone out there has to know something and we know that's the key to finding out who did this, and I want them to be put behind bars for a very, very long time," says Sharhonda.

Sharhonda plans to hand out fliers in her brother's neighborhood in the hopes that someone will come forward with information. The sheriff's office says right now there are no suspects but an investigation is well underway.

If you have any information, you are urged to contact the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office at (806) 775-1600.

The family is planning a funeral for Bernard. A fund has been set up to help with those expenses at Wells Fargo Bank under Bernard Wilson.

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