KCBD INVESTIGATES: 2007 Homicide of Selena 'Melody' Kuykendall

KCBD INVESTIGATES: 2007 Homicide of Selena 'Melody' Kuykendall
Published: Nov. 7, 2014 at 2:24 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2014 at 6:13 PM CST
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LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - Investigators say it all the time when working a case - someone knows something. KCBD has launched a major effort to help find the people who know something about six unsolved homicides involving Lubbock women.

Authorities say the victims all lived high-risk lifestyles and were found in rural areas around Lubbock.

INTERACTIVE MAP: KCBD Investigates Unsolved Homicides

In October, police arrested Billy Jack Limbaugh, Jr. for the 2008 homicide of Monica Adams. Adams was found near an oil rig off of North MLK and East Bradley, not far from the airport.

Limbaugh Jr. faces multiple felony charges including the murder of Adams. While the investigation into Limbaugh Jr. is ongoing, police say they have not connected him to any of the other unsolved homicides.

One year earlier and less than three miles away, a jogger made a gruesome discovery. On Tuesday, April 10, 2007, in a remote field at the base of a cell phone tower, the jogger spotted a woman's lifeless body, badly beaten and stabbed.

"Her crime scene was very difficult," said Captain Jon Caspell with the Lubbock Police Department.

"There was a rather heavy dirt storm and there's evidence there that led us to believe her body was out there during that storm," Caspell said.

Investigators determined the woman's body had been out in the field for at least a few hours and possibly even days.

A search through KCBD archives shows exactly what it looked like the day the woman was found. Our investigation also shows there was snow on April 7th and 8th and rain on the 9th.

Despite these weather conditions, authorities were able to identify the woman as 40-year-old Selena "Melody" Kuykendall.

Police struggled to find people who knew her. She had moved to Lubbock from the Houston area about eight months earlier and lived at the Hickory Tree Apartments.

KCBD found a neighbor, Greg Russum, back in 2007 who said he spoke to Kuykendall from time to time.

"I said, 'Hey, what's your name?' and she said, 'Hi, I'm Melody' and I introduced myself," Russum told KCBD in that 2007 interview.

"I would see her outside and talk to her every once in a while; she was real sweet, a very nice girl," Russum said.

Russum said Kuykendall did not try to keep her past a secret.

"She talked about having a few legal issues pending here, and that's why she was here," Russum said.

"She did what a lot of girls do around here, you know. There's a lot of girls that walk the streets around here and man, everybody has been saying somebody is going to end up dead and...she did," Russum said.

So, what about the jogger who discovered her body? Could he bring any new information to police?

We've learned that the jogger was an out of town pastor who died earlier this year.

But his friend, who helped call police and saw Kuykendall's naked, beaten body, says he is still working to put that horrific crime scene behind him.

He says suspicious activity is not unusual for that portion of Municipal Drive, which is why he says his family avoids the area when coming and going from their nearby neighborhood.

Seven years later, police have a face, a name, and a plea to anyone who may have information

"Try to remember, and I know it's been several years, but try to think back to around that date. If they were in that area they saw any kind of vehicle driving around in that field... It certainly could be just the smallest little bit of evidence, the tiniest lead might guide us in the right direction," Caspell said.

If you have any information, you are asked to call Crime Line at (806) 741-1000. Crime Line is anonymous and is open to callers 24/7.

Kera Eady and L. Scott Mann contributed to this report.

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