Police increase reward to solve 15-year-old Taylor cold case

Katara Johnson had her whole life ahead of her.

“She was a very popular young lady," Taylor Police Chief Henry Fluck said. "She was reported to be a very kind, and outgoing person, had a lot of friends."

On Aug. 26, 2004, Johnson's life was tragically cut short after returning home from work. Her grandmother came to her home and found her in the bedroom.

“She was found the next day, she was shot multiple times in her residence,” said Fluck.

After years of no valid leads, the case went cold, but even now, 15 years later, the Taylor Police Department is still not giving up.

“Williamson County Crime Stoppers met last week, they increased the reward from $2,000 to $5,000," Fluck said. "Texas Crime Stoppers is offering $6,000. So right now there is a total of $11,000 for an individual who will provide accurate information that could be verified that will lead to the arrest of the suspect."

Police are hoping an increased reward amount will motivate someone to come forward. Taylor police have partnered with Texas DPS as well as the Williamson County Sheriff's Office Cold Case Unit, to take a fresh look.

“The DNA method of testing now is more sophisticated, and we've found some other items that are worthwhile and have potential evidentiary value,” said Fluck.

Nine years ago, FOX 7 Austin spoke to Johnson's family, who continue to wait for answers.

“You have to know God knows the answers and you have to keep the faith. It's been six years, it's been rough," Johnson's sister Anissa Robinson-Wilson said then. :There have been ups and downs in our family. There's times we wanted to give up, but we can't give up."

Police hope they can finally give the family and the small Taylor community much-needed justice and closure.

“They have our deepest and sincerest condolences for the tragedy they suffered," Fluck said. "It's a tragedy for Katara Johnson, her family and the entire community of Taylor. Everyone wants to see this crime solved."

Anyone with information to share with police is asked to call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS. All tips are anonymous.