Racial Divide Stirred Over Slain Woman Found In Waller County

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

HEMPSTEAD, Texas (AP) - It's been more than one year since an
unidentified woman was found strangled on a Prairie View road.
The March 2007 crime remains unsolved -- and efforts to bury the
body have churned controversy in Waller County.
The victim is white.
The funeral home and cemetery a justice of the peace initially
chose to handle her burial are historically black.
Waller County Commissioners Court balked at paying for that
burial. Since March 25th, Waller County has paid neighboring Harris
County $50 a day to store the body.
Waller County Judge Owen Ralston denies that racial issues were
at play.
He attributed the delay to the black funeral home director's
insistence that the county sign a letter guaranteeing payment.
Ralston says that went against county policy, and officials
instead contacted another funeral home. The white-owned funeral
picked up the woman's body Monday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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