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Year in Review: Area cops have busy ’13
No homicides were reported in Wilson County during 2013.
However, Bexar County officials had several such investigations. In March, deputies worked to find the identity of a man whose body was found on Roddy Road south of Adkins. Then on Sept. 23, two motorcyclists -- Cameron Courney of Buda and Tina Broussard of San Antonio, both 51 -- were killed in a double hit-and-run crash near the Texas Pride BBQ restaurant on Loop 1604 near St. Hedwig.
The end of the year perhaps was the most eventful for lawmen in Atascosa, Bexar, and Wilson counties, who all joined forces Dec. 8 following the shooting of San Antonio Police Officer Robert Deckard. He died Dec. 20 from a gunshot wound to the head, which he suffered while pursuing 32-year-old Shaun Ruiz Puente and 28-year-old Jenevieve Ramos, both of San Antonio, on I-37.
After Deckard crashed his patrol car in Atascosa County, the suspects became involved in a shootout on U.S. 181 north of Poth with Poth Patrolman Roberto “R.J.” Sanchez Jr. Puente and Ramos later were apprehended and now face charges, including capital murder.
Atascosa County deputies on Nov. 24 received a report of human remains found in a pasture near the Wilson County line in Verdi. Those remains later were identified as those of Deborah Jean Williams, who on April 27 was last seen leaving a recreational-vehicle park on Donop Road in Southeast Bexar County.
Meanwhile, searches continued for the following missing women:
•Patty Inez Brightwell Vaughan, last seen Dec. 25, 1996. Authorities expect within the next few months to conduct a new search for clues at an undisclosed location. Her loved ones fear that Vaughan was killed.
•Pauline Cantu Diaz, last seen Dec. 7, 2010, leaving from her job at a San Antonio H-E-B supermarket. Her case has evolved into a homicide investigation, as officials believe her to be dead.
Investigations also continued into various homicide cases that have gone unsolved over the years, including:
•William Harvey Taylor, killed Feb. 12, 1966, in his home on S.H. 97 east of Floresville
•Michael “Elvis” Barrera of Floresville, whose body was found Feb. 20, 1989, in a pasture adjacent to the Poth City Park
•Gloria Flores, who was shot to death July 19, 1998, outside her home near the corner of F.M. 1303 and C.R. 155 north of Floresville
•Sylvia Perez Clark, who was beaten and strangled July 19, 2009, in her home on Twin Oaks Drive near La Vernia
•Steven and Ramona Lambeck, who were shot to death Sept. 20, 2012, in their home on C.R. 401 near U.S. 87 just outside Stockdale.
Another type of crime that continues to put a strain on law-enforcement agencies operating throughout Texas is human smuggling. Attempts to transport illegal aliens in overloaded vehicles led to some notable police pursuits during 2013, including a Feb. 6 incident on F.M. 427 near Poth where three men -- Ervin Josue Sontay, 20, of Guatemala; Adalid Anaya-Perez, 23, of Honduras; and Julian Cesar Rodriguez Laurean, 21, of Mexico -- drowned after a sport-utility vehicle used to smuggle them and at least 12 other Latin American immigrants plunged into a stock pond.
Javier Silva-Morales, 31, and Jose Abram Lopez-Lozano, 25, both of Mexico, were arrested and convicted in federal court of various smuggling-related charges. Both were sent to prison.
Five other suspects were slapped with federal charges after a May 3 raid of a suspected stash house on Crosscreek Drive north of Floresville. An estimated 16 undocumented immigrants from Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico were temporarily quartered in the home where they awaited transport to Houston.
Two women also are suspected of taking advantage of illegal aliens in a scam that had the Los Compadres Mexican Restaurant in La Vernia as its focal point. In December, the restaurant’s owner -- Yolanda Hernandez de Arteaga -- and Maria de Lourdes Montano-Vicencio of Houston were indicted in federal court on wire fraud charges, alleging they duped their victims out of more than $100,000. (See related article, 12A.)
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