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Section A: General News


Eagle Ford: Unsolved cases mark anniversaries; DA’s office to conduct new search


Eagle Ford: Unsolved cases mark anniversaries; DA’s office to conduct new search
Patty Inez Brightwell Vaughan and Michael “Elvis” Barrera


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Wilson County News
December 26, 2013
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This week will mark another year that two area crimes remain unsolved.

On Dec. 25, Patty Inez Brightwell Vaughan will be missing for 17 years. She was last seen Dec. 25, 1996, when -- according to her estranged husband, Jerry Ray -- she left their home on Oak Park Road in Adkins after a heated argument. One day after the then-32-year-old mother of three disappeared, family members called authorities after Vaughan did not drop off her children before going to work. That was the same day that Jerry Ray filed for divorce.

Vaughan was described as a white female with blonde hair and green eyes. She stood 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighed 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing dark-colored pants and a cream-colored blouse.

Officials with the 81st Judicial District Attorney’s Office confirmed recently that the investigation into Vaughan’s disappearance remains active and that plans are being finalized to conduct further search of an undisclosed location for possible evidence. The district attorney’s office will bear the expense of this upcoming search.

Dec. 27 will mark the 25th anniversary of Michael “Elvis” Barrera of Floresville being reported missing. The body of the 19-year-old was found Feb. 20, 1989, in Poth.

A suspect was arrested and charged in the case in 2006. But before going to trial, witnesses recanted their statements, prompting the prosecution to dismiss without prejudice its case against Arturo Galindo. He could be charged again, however, if new or additional evidence comes to light.

Investigators believe that there are people who have information that could bring a resolution to both cases, which is why tipsters are urged to call the district attorney’s office at 830-393-2200.

Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of Wilson County at 830-393-INFO (4636) or http://bit.ly/NDrIut.
 

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