Investigators Hope To Solve Walker Co Cold Case Murder

By: Daniel Armbruster Email
By: Daniel Armbruster Email

On the morning of December 13, 2002, a fisherman discovered the body of a woman floating in Lake Conroe. The woman would later be identified as 39-year old Lorena Gray, of Conroe. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

“I think about this case every day. It's heart wrenching to have to tell a family and tell them their loved one has been taken from them,” said Sgt. Casey Chitwood.

Sgt. Chitwood had just been promoted to detective with the Walker County Sheriff's Office two weeks before Gray’s body was found. “Upon arriving on scene that morning, that victim was placed in a sleeping bag,” said Chitwood.

Lorena Gray had one gunshot wound to her head and signs of trauma. Detectives immediately began looking for possible witnesses or someone who could provide them with Gray's known whereabouts over the past few days. After an extensive search there were no witnesses to be found and Gray hadn't been seen in two days.

“She was last seen by her family Wednesday, December 11, 2002 sometime after 9pm,” said Chitwood.

In a homicide case, more often than not, the victim usually knows the person who killed them. Knowing this, detectives interviewed family members and friends. They could rule everyone out as a suspect, except one person.

"His name is Richard Becker,” said Chitwood. Richard Becker was Lorena Gray's ex-boyfriend and a man she shared a child with. Chitwood went on to say, "He's currently being housed for the third time since this incident inside TDCJ."

According to investigators, Becker denies any involvement in Gray's death. KBTX put in a request for an interview with Becker, but we're still waiting for a response. Investigators were not able to tie any physical evidence from the crime scene to Becker, but Chitwood says there's still hope of finding the person who killed Lorena Gray.

“There are currently right now at Texas Department of Public Safety... We have evidence there being reevaluated. There's things that are available to us now there weren't 10 years ago,” said Chitwood.

New technology could be the last hope investigators have unless someone who knows something hasn't come forward.

“Somebody somewhere may have seen her from 9pm Wednesday December 11, 2002 to sometime before we found her,” said Chitwood.

For Sgt. Chitwood, this case has become personal. He made a promise to Lorena Gray's family that he will find the person who killed her.

“I've done everything I can do to keep that promise,” said Chitwood.

If you have any information about the murder of Lorena Gray, you can contact the Walker County Sheriff’s Office at (936) 435-2400.

KBTX-TV Channel 3 4141 E. 29th Street Bryan, TX 77802 Phone: (979) 846-7777 Fax: (979) 846-1490 News Fax: (979) 846-1888
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