DPS debuts webpage for cold cases statewide

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The fatal shooting of a 68-year-old North Richland Hills woman in December 2007 is among unsolved murders being featured on a new Department of Public Safety webpage aimed at breathing new life into cold cases.

Marianne Wilkinson had been watching television with her husband when the doorbell rang at their upscale home in the 8400 block of Spence Court. Wilkinson had just opened the door when she was shot multiple times.

A neighbor reported seeing a man in a hooded sweat shirt flee in a gold-colored vehicle.

Eight months later, a child found the weapon used in the fatal shooting about eight miles away from Wilkinson's home. Although a fingerprint was eventually recovered off a spent shell casing, no matches have been made.

The website contains information on 68 unsolved cases from around the state dating to 1978. Wilkinson's case is featured on the Texas Rangers Top 12 Cold Case Investigations page.

Three other cases from Tarrant County are mentioned among the 68 unsolved. They include:

• Carrie Anne Luckey, 18, whose remains were found in a field in northwest Tarrant County in 1988.

• Lena Howard, 32, whose remains were found under a bridge in Mansfield in 1998.

• Pleasant Ervin Robinson, 57, who was last seen on or around June 2010 in Pelican Bay.

"Cold cases are typically challenging to solve for a variety of reasons, but we want to send a clear message that we are not giving up on these murder victims," said DPS Director Steven McCraw in a news release about the new webpage, which was unveiled Wednesday.

"Our goal for this webpage -- and the investigative efforts supporting it -- is to shine a new light on these crimes, so they are not forgotten," McCraw said. "We are committed to bringing these ruthless criminals to justice and to bringing some amount of closure to the families involved."

Investigator Keith Bauman, a spokesman with the North Richland Hills Police Department, said police still field leads and are actively investigating the Wilkinson case.

"There is a big difference between believing you know what happened and having enough information to prove what happened and getting an indictment," Bauman said.

Bauman said two men -- Dennis Michael Taylor, 50, and Vincent Lane, 49 -- who had been described by police in the months after Wilkinson's death as "persons of interest" in the case, remain just that.

Taylor's wife, with whom he was going through a divorce at the time of Wilkinson's death, lived in a home with the same address number on a parallel cul-de-sac -- one block away from the Wilkinsons.

"We still feel that the individuals have information that would assist in this investigation or have some knowledge of the incident," Bauman said Wednesday regarding the two men.

Dennis Taylor did not return messages Wednesday seeking comment and efforts to reach Lane were unsuccessful.

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd

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