Nat Geo and Brazos Co. Sheriff's Office team up to solve cold case

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BRAZOS COUNTY, Tex. - (KBTX) National Geographic Explorer is teaming up with the Brazos County Sheriff's Office to solve a murder case that shocked the Brazos Valley.

It's been more than 35 years since realtor Virginia Freeman was murdered in Brazos County.

On December 1st, 1981, she went to meet a client at a home in what is now the Woodlake subdivision, but never returned.

Sheriff Chris Kirk was just starting out at the sheriff's office at the time.

"I'm the only person working in our organization that was that crime scene,” said Sheriff Kirk.

Investigators found Freeman dead behind the home. They say Freeman was hit in the head by a blunt object, stabbed multiple times in the neck and shoulder, strangled, and sexually assaulted.

Sheriff Kirk gathered evidence that day and is determined to solve the case.

"It is something personal for me,” said Kirk.

In 2016, the sheriff's office looked into purchasing a cutting edge device called Snapshot that could create a sketch of the murderer using just DNA evidence. The new technology could help authorities find out the hair color, eye color, and skin tone of the murderer.

National Geographic Explorer agreed to pay for the equipment. In return, they will document the investigation.

"We found DNA under the fingernails of the victim, and so now, we do believe that we have the DNA of the murderer,” said Kirk.

Now, they are closer to finding success.

"I'm guessing within a week to 10 days that we will have something that we can release to the public,” said Kirk.

Freeman's death shook Kirk and the community. Now, years later, he hopes to close the case.

"She suffered from the attack and it would be wonderful to bring the person who did this to justice,” said Kirk.

National Geographic Explorer is keeping the specifics of their production secret at this time.