Will a fresh set of eyes and new technology help solve a 10-year-old cold case? That is the hope of a Killeen detective working one of the most violent cases the department has seen. It is the cold case that has haunted the Killeen Police Department for a decade.
On July 4, 2007 at Dollar General in the 4100 block of Stan Schuelter Loop, a double homicide shook the city of Killeen. Sheila Reed, 40, and 28-year-old Gricelda Ramos opened up the store that morning and were the only two working. By 8:23 a.m., Reed was dead and Ramos died later at the hospital.
"Officer Williams was working routine patrol in the area when she drove by the dollar general and saw a vehicle that she didn't recognize, so she drove by the side of the store door and saw that one of the doors was slightly ajar. She went to the front of the store and noticed there was a body laying inside so she called for assistance," Homicide Detective Sharon Brank who is working the case said.
The only thing detectives knew about the suspect at the time was he wore a mask and took some money from the store. That is until detective Sharon Brank took the case. Brank said surveillance video released from the store leads her to believe this was not a random act.
The video which was released to Channel Six shows a white man entering the Dollar General store on July 3rd 2007, the day before the murders. You never see him leave the store that day. However, Detective Brank said a second video, which police said was too violent to release shows the same man in the store the next day with a gun. Sheila Reed's daughter, Jennifer Helms did see that second video and calls it shocking.
"That second video shows the man walking with a mask, gloves and the gun. I think he actually stayed in the back stockroom overnight," Helms said. "It's pretty easy to get into the stockrooms where they're normally located so he could of easily slipped and hid behind boxes which is what we have been told. There's no way he could've came in on his own and them not notice."
Helms said she also watched a video showing the man pacing back and forth in the stockroom before the murders.
"It makes your heart race because it's a movie you watched a billion times, you know how it's going to end and it's definitely not an awesome feeling," Helms said.
Helms was a teen and out of town visiting her father when the murder happened. 10 years later, she's married with a child still desperate for answers from police and closure.
"What if it was your family you would want the person caught, everyone says that's not going to happen to me, but who would've thought my mother would've been murdered when I was 17," Helms said.
Detective Brank said a major roadblock has been technology.
"Back in 2007 video quality wasn't that great so a lot of the video was very grainy. Now we have new technology we just got our hands on a few months ago, we're going to run the videos through there and see if we can get more of the still frames that we can look at," Brank said.
The detective also said people talking on the street has led to progress.
"We actually have a possible name and are now working on doing line ups," Brank said.
Brank said the case is unlike anything she's worked before.
"It's not normal to have a double homicide in a business, it makes people anxious and uneasy to know that a store they go to everyday can have something like this happen," Brank said.
Brank hopes the name and lineup will lead to an arrest in the near future and so does Helms - hopeful she won't have to wait another ten years for that to happen.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact Killeen police.