KCBD Investigates: DNA links Lubbock man to 2008 murder

KCBD Investigates: DNA links Lubbock man to 2008 murder
Published: Oct. 9, 2014 at 7:41 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 10, 2014 at 2:53 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - For more than six years, Lubbock police have searched for the person responsible for murdering a Lubbock woman and dumping her body in a Northeast Lubbock field.

On Thursday, police announced that they believe they have the man responsible for that murder behind bars.

Billy Jack Limbaugh Junior, 43, is in the Lubbock County Detention Center. Lubbock police say DNA samples link him to three separate crimes including the murder of 29-year-old Monica Adams. Limbaugh Junior is also charged with robbery, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault.

In 2008, oil field workers found Adams' body in a field off of North MLK Blvd. and East Bradley Street. That is not far from the Lubbock airport. The Lubbock County Medical Examiner's determined Adams died from blunt force trauma.

In a news conference we streamed live for you on

Thursday afternoon, Captain Jon Caspell told us several agencies worked together to preserve DNA evidence from that crime scene.

The documents reveal how police linked Limbaugh Jr. to an unsolved murder, an unsolved rape and an unsolved aggravated kidnapping and robbery. Those crimes were committed against three different women.

In January of 2008, police responded to a report of a rape in the 2700 block of Northeast Loop 289.

The police report says police found a woman naked with a gash on her head. She told police a man had forced her to perform sexual acts, tied up her hands, beat her with a belt, forced himself on her, smashed a beer bottle over head and threatened her life.

The woman escaped and called 911.

Investigators were able to collect DNA evidence from the scene of the crime.

Eight months later, in August of 2008, police responded to a dead body found in a field off of North MLK Blvd. and East Bradley street. Oil rig workers had found a woman face down in the mud next to the rig.

She was later identified as 29-year-old Monica Adams. Adams had been missing for about five days.

The Lubbock County Medical Examiner's Office determined her cause of death was blunt force trauma.

According to court documents, investigators found beer cans, cigarette butts, clothing and hair that had been forcibly removed from Adams' body at the crime scene. Investigators said they were able to get DNA samples from those items, but were unable to identify a suspect, however that evidence was preserved.

Almost six years later, in May of 2014, police were called to the 4200 block of  Idalou Road in reference to a robbery.

According to the police report, when officers arrived, they found a woman crying and complaining of injuries from being punched. The woman said she had been tossed out of a man's car.

She told police it all started when a man saw her walking near the 2500 block of Parkway Drive and offered her a ride

She told police after she got in the car the man offered her $10 in exchange for sexual acts. The woman said she refused and started beating on the car windows and screaming for help. That's when she says the man began hitting her, grabbed her purse and threw her out of the car.

This woman was able to identify Billy Jack Limbaugh Jr. from a photo spread.

On Thursday, police received confirmation that DNA evidence connected Limbaugh Jr. to all three cases. Officers spent hours executing a search warrant at Limbaugh Jr.'s home. They removed boxes, envelopes and a mattress from his residence.

Captain Jon Caspell with the Lubbock Police Department said he shared the news with Adams' family on Thursday. 

"It was a combination of grief as well as justice being served," Caspell said.

Police have not linked Limbaugh Jr. to any other unsolved homicides, but on-going investigations are underway. 

Lubbock police released this statement on Thursday afternoon:

On August 20th, 2008, Monica Adams body was found in a field near the area of E. Bradley and N. MLK Boulevard. The preliminary investigation led to the belief she was the victim of an apparent homicide. DNA evidence was collected, and despite an extensive investigation by LPD Homicide and Crime Scene Investigators, the case eventually went cold and the evidence was preserved for future investigation.

This past week, the Texas DPS crime lab informed LPD Investigators that a known sample of DNA evidence had been directly linked to Monica Adams' homicide, in what is called a familial DNA hit. This familial DNA hit meant that a close biological relative of a known DNA provider would be the person whose DNA was found at Monica Adams' crime scene. The case was immediately re-examined, a new lead was discovered based on this familial DNA hit, and a possible suspect was quickly established.

While investigating this new suspect, LPD Investigators were able to tie Monica Adams' homicide to two other cases. The first occurred around January 5th, 2008, in which the victim stated they had been the victim of a sexual assault and eventually escaped the captor. DNA evidence in that case had been previously linked to Monica Adams' homicide.

The second had occurred on May 11th of this year, (LPD case number 14-15244) in which the victim stated they had been assaulted and thrown out of a vehicle in the area of 4200 Idalou Road. During that investigation, the victim was able to identify Billy Jack Limbaugh, Jr., in a photo spread as the suspect who had assaulted them. DNA evidence collected during that investigation showed Mr. Limbaugh was the source of the DNA in both Monica Adams' homicide as well as the related 2008 sexual assault case. Thus, LPD Investigators were able to establish Billy Jack Limbaugh, Jr., as the perpetrator in all three of these cases based on the original familial DNA hit and a corroboration of evidence.

Earlier this week, while the Monica Adams homicide was being further investigated, Mr. Limbaugh was arrested and charged with aggravated kidnapping and assault on the May 11th case. Today, Mr. Limbaugh has been served with additional arrest warrants and has now been charged with the murder of Monica Adams as well as aggravated sexual assault from the related 2008 case. Mr. Limbaugh is currently incarcerated in the Lubbock County Detention Facility, where the additional warrants were served today.

At this time, Lubbock Police investigators have not linked Mr. Limbaugh to any other unsolved homicides but on-going investigations are underway.

The Lubbock Police Department would like to especially thank the DPS labs, their lab technicians and personnel in Lubbock and Austin; notably Gary Molina (manager of CODIS in Austin) and Cathy McCord (Lubbock DPS crime lab) for their efforts and on-going help in these cases. The Lubbock Police Department also thanks Matt Powell, Lubbock County District Attorney, and his staff of investigators and prosecutors, notably Wade Jackson and Sunshine Stanek, for their help in this case as well.

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