25 years since violent death of Veronica Taylor

Veronica Taylor
Veronica Taylor
KCBD File Photo
KCBD File Photo

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Monday marks 25 years since the death of Veronica Taylor of Lubbock .

The young girl's body was found back on March 26, 1987 - just two miles north of the intersection of 62-82 and FM 179.

Taylor was 13 years old at the time.

A medical examiner reported Taylor had been strangled and sexually assaulted but said it was one single blow to the back of her head that killed her.

Investigators continue to search for leads, but have not located a suspect.

KCBD interviewed court and law enforcement officials back in 2008, prompted by "new leads" generated in May of that year.

Back in 2008, Lubbock County Sheriff's Office Major Don Carter said."We recently came up with a little more information and they are trying to get this case together and we feel this is certainly a solvable case,"

"They took a child in her tender years and just treated her like a piece of trash to be used and discarded," Judge Jim Hansen said.

Judge Hansen is now a Lubbock County Justice of the Peace. At the time he was a NewsChannel 11 reporter who covered the story when it first broke.

Back in 1987, NewsChannel 11 cameras rolled as deputies snapped pictures of Taylor's body in a snow-covered field.

Evidence collected included a comb and school supplies in Taylor's pockets. An Idalou banker on his way to work noticed Taylor's body just before 7 a.m. Her panties had been tied around her neck and her face was almost unidentifiable. At the time, Sheriff Sonny Keesee spoke to Hansen about Taylor's tragic end.

"She was severally beaten, apparently by fist. The killing blow came from an instrument to the back of skull - on the left hand side is where the blow was placed," Sheriff Keesee said.

"Something like that in a wide open area in broad daylight, I remember the sheriff saying someone must have seen something. And when you go over there and look you'd say someone had to have seen something," Hansen said.

Taylor was a sixth grader at Murfee Elementary when she was killed. At the time, she lived at the Phoenix Apartments, formerly located in 1000 block of 38th Street. Authorities told Hansen that Taylor and another young friend were last seen going into another apartment unit two days before her body was found.

"Authorities are still sticking to their theory that some at the Phoenix Apartment did it, they still don't know who it is," Hansen said in his report.

"I know the sheriff's office put in a lot of efforts back then and obviously my statement has proven true because they are still thinking about it today," Hansen said.

Hansen added, "Whoever did that, if they are still out there, they have no heart, no soul and need to be found and put behind bars."

Major Carter said, "We want the family to know we have not forgotten about the case."

In 2008, the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office said they had a new set of eyes on the case and a new weapon - DNA testing.

"The new technologies are coming into play. We do have some evidence that has been resubmitted for analysis that we hope to be able to further this case," Major Carter said.

Unfortunately, when KCBD talked to the Sheriff's office on Monday, they said there were no new leads and the case is considered cold.

Back in May 2008, Veronica's aunt, Lorene Taylor said, "You can't give up on hope. Even though it seemed like nothing was being done or nothing was happening. If you just keep a little hope and a little faith alive, something will happen," she said.

Twenty-five years later, Lorene Taylor is still trying to keep hope alive, and she has a message for Veronica's killer:

"Let us know why you did what you did. That child, she hadn't done anything to you... You've taken an innocent life of a child that hadn't even begun to live yet. Now you've taken all that away from her. You don't even know what she could have been in life. She could have been a doctor, a lawyer - somebody who helped the homeless or anybody you know... But you've taken all that away from her... We will never know what she could have been," Lorene said.

If you have any information that can help solve this case, please Crime Line at (806) 741-1000.

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