It's been 21-years since an Idalou banker found the body of 13-year-old Veronica Taylor. She was discovered on March 26, 1987 in a field northwest of Idalou. Investigators ruled her death a homicide.
Since that time, they've been trying to piece together the events that lead up to her death, and put her killer behind bars. Now, investigators tell NewsChannel 11 they could finally solve this case as they wait for results on new evidence sent to be tested for DNA.
Taylor was a sixth grader at Murfee Elementary when she died. At just 13-years old, she'd already survived one attack, and investigators want her family to know they haven't forgotten their little girl.
"There are going to be people that remember this family and are going to remember this case because of the events that happened," Lubbock County Sheriff's Major Don Carter said.
Snow blanketed the ground on the morning of March 26, 1987, making Veronica Taylor's brutally beaten body easily visible. An Idalou banker discovered the gruesome scene on his way to work just before 7:00 a.m.
"I think, maybe more so than any other case, he wanted to get that solved. It ate at him like it ate at any of us, because it's pretty apparent that whoever did this has no heart, no soul," Lubbock County Justice of the Peace Jim Hansen said.
Hansen covered the story when it first broke, as a reporter for NewsChannel 11.
"The autopsy showed that she was rather severely beaten about the face, apparently by a fist," former Lubbock County Sheriff Sonny Keesee told Hansen back in 1987.
The medical examiner determined Taylor had been strangled and sexually assaulted, but a blow to the back of the head appeared to be what killed her. Investigators believe the killing took place somewhere else, possibly the former Phoenix Apartments where Taylor lived.
"I remember when we started 11's Most Wanted back then. This was one of the six picked from all Lubbock law enforcement, DPS, SO, PD at the time the six cases they wanted solved the most," Hansen said.
"Amidst the sobs of friends and relatives, the 13-year--old was eulogized as a friendly girl, one who was always smiling," Hansen reported on the day of Taylor's funeral.
"This wasn't her first encounter with being a victim; at age 10 she was reportedly raped," Carter said.
The tragedy didn't end there. Taylor's mother died two years after her death. She was hit by a drunk driver.
"This family has gone through a lot. We want to make sure that the family, first of all realizes that we haven't forgotten this case. We have investigators that have recently come up with a little more information. They're tying this case together and we feel it is certainly a solvable case," Carter said.
"Whoever did that, if they are still out there, no heart, no soul, no remorse, needs to be found and put behind bars. Someone needs to pay for that crime," Hansen said.
Lubbock County investigators are also asking for your help. They're asking that if you remember anything about this case, or if you can help them get into contact with Taylor's family, give Crime Line a call at (806) 741-1000.