South Plains family searching for mother's killer, 30 years later

South Plains family searching for mother's killer, 30 years later - 10 p.m. Newscast
Family searches for Guadalupe Ocanas' killer (Source: Guadalupe's family)
Family searches for Guadalupe Ocanas' killer (Source: Guadalupe's family)

HALE COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - "The day started off to be any regular day, just like any other day," said Claudia Martinez.

On Friday, July 31, 1987, Martinez was just seven-years-old.

She said her mother, Guadalupe Ocanas-Aldana, worked late shifts at Cargill's meat processing plant in Plainview.

"I remember her leaving money because we had our best friends over that day," Martinez said.

Martinez and her older sister were having a sleepover at their Plainview home.

"We rented movies and we bought food, and started watching movies that night, nothing abnormal," Martinez said.

Martinez said her mother came home from work in the early hours of Saturday morning.

"About 1:00, 2:00 in the morning is when this nightmare all took place," Martinez said.

It is a nightmare Martinez has relived over and over again for the past 30 years.

Martinez said she and her friends were asleep in the living room when she heard her mother's boyfriend at the door.

Martinez remembers her mother opening the door and speaking with her boyfriend, who pushed his way into the home.

"Cursing at her, he grabbed her by her shirt and deliberately pushed her down next to me and he pulled out the gun and started shooting her," Martinez said. "These gunshots are going in her and she was shaking and she was looking at him like, 'Please, stop.' And he just continued until he couldn't anymore."

Martinez's sister, 15-year-old Juanita Adame, said she and a friend had fallen asleep in a tent in the backyard.

Adame said they awoke to what they thought were fireworks, until they heard the screams.

"I opened the front door and I seen my mother laying in a pool of blood. I started screaming and crying. I couldn't keep myself together there for a little bit, and then I composed myself and called the police," Adame said.

The KCBD Investigates team obtained the Plainview Fire Department Incident Report from that morning.

It states the dispatcher received the call at 4:10 a.m. on Saturday, August 1, 1987.

When EMS arrived, the paramedics reported finding the 37-year-old with multiple gunshot wounds, but still breathing.

According to the Emergency Medical Services Transportation Record, family told paramedics Guadalupe was shot by her boyfriend about 20 minutes prior to their arrival.

Adame said officials asked her mother if that was true as they carried her to the ambulance and she said yes.

Paramedics rushed Ocanas to the hospital where Adame had a chance to see her mother one last time.

"She really couldn't talk, but I told her I loved her; I told her to wake up," Adame cried.

Martinez said her mother's boyfriend introduced himself to the family as Miguel Duran, but was also known as Gilbert Munoz and Rene Natividad Esparza.

Officers reportedly tried to track a Miguel Duran down, but learned he allegedly stole that identity.

"From what we are told from the detectives and the district attorney's office, this case is very hard to solve because this man has 15 different aliases. They don't know his name, his birth date; they have no information on this person," Martinez said.

Without much else to go on, the officials did have something, photographs.

Adame remembers distinct features you cannot make out in the grainy photos of her mother's boyfriend.

"He had a bump on his nose, and he had a scar because he had some kind of surgery on his nose. He had a big, black mole on his face, and he had a pinky that was crooked," Adame said.

Adame remembers the man also had a tattoo of a dagger.

She is now a correctional officer who said she takes a close look at every inmate she meets.

"I am trying to find him. I want him found. I just want justice for my mamma. That's why I got this career, that's why I got in it, for her," Adame cried.

The KCBD Investigates Team uncovered a Dallas County document confirming the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences signed off on receiving a revolver, cartridge cases, and bullets pulled from Ocanas' body.

But 30 years later, "files are missing, prints are missing, gun is missing, paperwork is missing, pictures are missing," Martinez said. "The people that originally served on the case are either dead or retired or nowhere to be found."

Now, 30 years later, these sisters who have children of their own, are turning to the community in hopes someone will have information on their mother's killer.

"I believe somebody around here knows something. I just beg anyone who knows anything to please contact the authorities," Adame said.

The Hale County District Attorney's Office told KCBD it recently turned the case over to the Texas Rangers.

If you have any information on this case, you can make an anonymous call to CrimeStoppers at 806-293-TIPS.

You can also call the Hale County Sheriff's office with information at 806-296-2724.

Copyright 2017 KCBD. All rights reserved.