A suspected serial killer already facing the death penalty in connection with the 1997 killing of a woman in Oklahoma has now been indicted on a capital murder charge in the death of a Farmers Branch woman that same year.
William Reece, 58, was indicted Thursday by a Brazoria County grand jury in connection with the kidnapping and death of Kelli Cox, 20.
Cox, a University of North Texas honor student and mother to a 19-month-old daughter, disappeared July 15, 1997, after taking a tour of the Denton Jail with her UNT criminology class.
Her remains were found in Brazoria County, in a pasture off Texas 288 near Rosharon, last year after Reece led authorities there.
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“Our thoughts and prayers remain with Kelli’s family and friends,” Denton police said Friday in a news release about the indictment. “We are hopeful that the indictment of William Reece will aid in bringing them closure to this horrible tragedy.”
During the same month that Cox disappeared, officials allege Reece abducted 19-year-old newlywed Tiffany Johnston from a car wash in Bethany, Oklahoma. Johnston’s partially nude body was found the next day in tall weeks in Yukon, just south of Interstate 40.
Reece was linked to Johnston’s case in September 2015 through DNA.
Since that time, he has also been indicted by a Galveston County grand jury on murder charges in the deaths of 12-year-old Laura Smither of Friendswood and 17-year-old Jessica Cain of Tiki Island.
Cain went missing in August 1997 after leaving a cast party where she had celebrated her performance in a high school musical. Her dad’s pickup was found on the route to her Tiki Island home.
Reece led authorities to Cain’s remains last year.
Smither disappeared in February 1997 after going for a jog. Her body was found a month later in Pasadena.
Reece had been sentenced to 60 years in prison in 1998 for an aggravated kidnapping in Harris County. He was still in prison when the connection to Johnston’s slaying was first made.
Reece remains held in the Oklahoma County Jail in Oklahoma City without bond.
This report contains information from the Star-Telegram archives.