New state webpage highlights unsolved murders, including 25-year-old Jones County case

POSTED: 12:25 PM Feb 20 2013   UPDATED: 2:34 PM Feb 20 2013
Cortney Clayton
ABILENE, Texas -

The state has created a new webpage aimed at aiding cold case murder investigations across Texas – and ultimately helping solve these cases.

According to a Texas Department of Public Safety news release, the webpage is targeted at renewing public interest in old unsolved cases, including featuring the Texas Rangers’ Top 12 cold case probes.

Among the Top 12 is the case of Cortney Clayton, a 7-year-old student at Oliver Elementary School in Stamford (Jones County) whose murder has been unsolved since 1988.

Police have said the youngster was riding her bicycle to a convenience store – one block from her Stamford residence – during the evening hours of Friday, Sept. 2, 1988. On Sunday, March 26, 1989, her remains were discovered in a field about 50 miles from Stamford.

She was survived by her parents and two brothers.

To view the information on the Unsolved Homicides site, visit:

http://www.dps.texas.gov/TexasRangers/UnsolvedHomicides/Index.htm.

To specifically view the Texas Rangers Top 12 Cold Case Investigations visit:

http://www.dps.texas.gov/TexasRangers/UnsolvedHomicides/topCases.aspx.

Below is the Texas DPS release in its entirety:

 New DPS Webpage Highlights Unsolved Murders

 AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) today unveiled a new section of its website dedicated to solving cold case murder investigations across the state of Texas. The Texas Rangers’ Unsolved Homicides webpage is aimed at renewing the public’s interest in these cases, including the Rangers Top 12 Unsolved Cold Case Investigations, which features two cases from each of the state’s six DPS regions. The cases that are featured in the Top 12 will be changed periodically.

“Cold cases are typically challenging to solve for a variety of reasons, but we want to send a clear message that we are not giving up on these murder victims,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Our goal for this webpage – and the investigative efforts supporting it – is to shine a new light on these crimes, so they are not forgotten. We are committed to bringing these ruthless criminals to justice and to bringing some amount of closure to the families involved.”

Texas Rangers, along with local police agencies, will reassess – and in some case reanalyze – evidence, and take another look at persons of interest or attempt to develop new persons of interest. Many of these cases involve smaller or rural police agencies, which the Texas Rangers routinely assist in working murder investigations. Currently, the website features a total of 68 cases dating back to 1978.

By putting the cases back in the public eye, it increases the possibility that people will come forward with new information or leads that can be investigated. The public will have the opportunity to submit information online through the new webpage or by calling a toll free number, 1-800-346-3243. Callers may remain anonymous. (Some of the cases have rewards associated with them, which are noted on the website.)