The Hood County Tax Assessor’s main office on Pearl Street will be closed Monday as the tight-knit staff of nine employees mourns the death of county title clerk Robyn Deann Richter.
Richter, 32, and Shawna Rachelle Ferris, 35, both of Granbury, were slain over the weekend, their bodies found Saturday morning slumped in the front seat of a parked vehicle outside a plumbing business, police said.
An employee of Bear’s Plumbing called police just before 8 a.m. Saturday when he found their bodies in a sport utility vehicle at the business, in the 700 block of South Morgan Street, Granbury police Sgt. Rodney Casey said. The women appeared to have died from gunshots to the head, he said.
Police had no motives and no suspects in the slayings Sunday evening. “We are still interviewing,” Casey said.
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Sandy Tidwell Gilmore, the Hood County tax assessor, said counselors will be at the office Monday to console county workers as they take down Richter’s workstation.
“It will be a hard day,” Tidwell Gilmore said. “We won’t be the same.”
Richter, a mother of two, and Ferris became friends a year ago when both were living at a women’s shelter, Tidwell Gilmore said.
Both women were divorced and went out frequently.
Richter had been at work on Friday, Tidwell Gilmore said. Co-workers had planned an office party for Saturday, but when Richter’s co-workers learned of her death, Tidwell Gilmore canceled the party.
But that didn’t stop co-workers from arriving at her home to cry, hug and share stories about Richter.
“When you work 40 hours a week with people, you get close,” Tidwell Gilmore said.
Gilmore said Richter was “the life of the office,” often making up funny songs and dancing in the office to make others smile. She said customers knew her by name and sometimes offered to bring her lunch if she was too busy to leave.
Richter’s 13-year-old son, Colton, became a fixture in the office by coming in every day after middle school to wait for his mom to finish her work for the day. Richter also had a daughter, Matte, who is 7 or 8 years old, Tidwell Gilmore said.
Ferris’s ex-husband declined to comment. Her ex-father-in-law, Donald Ferris, described her death as “terrible.”
Correspondent Susan Tallant contributed to this report, which includes material from Star-Telegram archives