Stamford family hopes for closure in unsolved murder mystery

POSTED: 9:48 PM Feb 24 2013   UPDATED: 8:34 AM Feb 25 2013
Cortney Clayton
STAMFORD, Texas -

The family of a 7-year-old Stamford girl who was murdered in 1988 says they are pleased the state has recast the spotlight on a case where the killer still hasn’t been found.

The Texas Department of Public Safety announced last week the launching of a new webpage aimed at bringing attention to cold murder cases, including Cortney Clayton’s 25-year-old case.

Her case was listed in the Texas Rangers’ Top 12 list.

She was last seen in 1988 riding her bike blocks from her home to a grocery store in Stamford. Her seven-year-old body was found 50 miles away in March 1989.

Cortney's father Stan Clayton said, "We're hoping that this will bring up new evidence or maybe some of the old evidence people might remember could bring an end to this."

He still lives and works in Stamford. He owns his own business, Clayton's Monogramming. He said dealing with her loss isn't easy, but this webpage lets him know people care.

"Life goes on, but you just don't forget," he said. "Surprising enough, people don't forget."

One person who continues to remember the tragedy is Cortney's older brother Ryan. He is just a few years older than her. He believes it can be solved.

"I know it will work out in the end, eventually," Ryan Clayton said. "God has a plan for everything – and we don't understand it sometimes, but it will work out."

He holds on to hope that her killer will be caught.

"It's not a good feeling knowing that someone else's life could be in jeopardy because they're still out there," he said.

In the end, their father wants closure for Cortney.

"We've accepted that we no longer have her, but the person that killed her is still out there and for her sake, she deserves justice," Stan Clayton said.