Detectives file warrant for possible new evidence in Roxanne Paltauf cold case

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Austin police are looking at potential new evidence in a nearly 13-year-old cold case. Roxanne Paltauf was reported missing on July 8, 2006.  

Last week, detectives filed a warrant to obtain her cellphone records after realizing there were possible roaming charges from the night before she disappeared.

“I know her case is solvable and I know people in Austin know what happened to her, so that's what keeps me going,” said Rosalynn Schultz, who has been searching for her sister for almost 13 years. 

“If I was the one that went missing, I know Roxanne would still be searching for me,” Schultz said. 

Since 2006, Paltauf's then-boyfriend, Louis Walls, has said he and Roxanne got in an argument at the Budget Inn off I-35 and Rundberg Lane and she walked out, leaving everything behind. 

“She wouldn't have left her phone, her money, her ID, her belongings,” said Schultz. 

Detectives said for five days Paltauf’s cellphone was in Walls' possession and during that time he made several calls. At one point, he even reached out to his ex-girlfriend in New Mexico. 

“He called her and said, ‘I am in trouble, I [expletive] up,’” Schultz said. 

Two years later, Paltauf's family requested all her phone records from T-Mobile. Recently, they noticed something else strange from the night before Paltauf was reported missing: several calls resulting in additional charges. 

“I've always known that Louis wasn't telling the truth about what happened that night and now, seeing these charges, that I believe are roaming charges, just confirms that he's lying,” said Schultz. 

Last week, Austin police detectives reviewed Paltauf's case and realized historical data was never requested from her cell phone provider. So they filed a search warrant for all data and records for Paltauf's phone before, during and after she was reported missing. In that paperwork, they write digital data "could yield evidence to the location of the phone during the night Paltauf disappeared, and possibly assist investigators in locating Paltauf's remains." 

“We're after finding Roxanne and bringing her home, and having her home with us, and laying her to rest, and have a place to go and mourn and grieve, and actually go through that grieving process,” Schultz said. 

Police said Walls is still considered a suspect and foul play is suspected. 

Shultz said she believes detectives will solve the case one day, but she no longer expects to see her sister alive. 

“Roxanne’s case is a murder without a body, and we don't have any proof or evidence of a murder and we don't have a body,” said Schultz. 

Paltauf's family said it will likely take a few months for the historical cellphone data to get back to detectives.

Anyone with information about Paltauf's case is asked to call the Austin Police Department Homicide Tipline at (512) 477-3588 or Crimestoppers at (512) 472-TIPS.