Austin yogurt shop murders: Case remains unsolved 30 years later

Monday marked thirty years since Shawn Ayers lost his little sister Amy Ayers. 

"I remember the cops coming to the door. The feeling that this ain't real. And that feeling lasted." Shawn Ayers said. He was just 19 when 13-year-old Amy was the victim of a quadruple homicide in a Central Austin yogurt shop. 

On December 6, 1991, she was one of four teenage girls bound, gagged, and shot in the head inside the "I Can't Believe It’s Yogurt!" shop on West Anderson Lane. The shop was set on fire -- damaging evidence and hindering the investigation.

Amy and her friend, 15-year-old Sarah Harbison, were visiting two girls who worked at the yogurt shop -- Sarah’s sister 17-year-old Jennifer Harbison and 17-year-old Eliza Thomas.  "It's a tragedy, and I hope, and I pray that we are on our way to finding a resolution," said Amy’s sister-in-law Angie Ayers. 

In 1999, four men were charged with the crime. Two of their convictions were overturned. Two suspects were never tried -- leaving the family without answers. 

"Going through all of that, it was extremely difficult, and… it takes a part of you that you'll never get back. I can't explain it. And it was a relief that people were in jail that had committed the crimes. And then you get the phone call that they're setting them free." Angie Ayers said. 

In 2017, the Ayers family hit another roadblock. Austin Police matched DNA they obtained from one of the victims to a DNA sample the FBI submitted to a research database in 2013. 

However, the FBI said information about the sample was protected by federal law. 

"It's very disappointing." Angie Ayers said. 

This week, an anonymous donor came forward offering $30,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the crime. The money brings the reward total to $31,000 was Capital Area Crime Stoppers are offering up to a $1,000 reward for information. 

Anyone with information is urged to contact them at: (512) 472-8477 

Monday, mourners placed fresh flowers on a plaque honoring the girls in the parking lot of the now-defunct yogurt shop.  "I remember [Amy] everyday." Shawn Ayers said. "There's a lot of people on this day, they remember what happened. I remember what happened every day because it happened to us." 

Shawn Ayers said his sister was "black and white." Telling FOX 7 Austin she wore her heart on her sleeve, loved animals -- especially horses. "You had asked, what are we going to do today? I'm going to jump on one of the horses for Amy. That's what I'll be doing later today." said Angie Ayers. 

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