ROCKDALE, Texas - A grieving mother is asking for help solving her daughter's murder. On February 19, 1999, Linda Gonzales was called into work on her day off. She left her 15-year-old daughter Sonya Wallace and her two sons at home with her sister.
Gonzales says her sister called her and told her Sonya wanted to walk to the post office a few blocks from the family’s Rockdale home. Gonzales said "okay." That was the last time Sonya’s family saw her alive.
"I keep on praying to God, please let me go back in time, go back in time. I wouldn’t go to work, I wouldn’t." cried Gonzales.
For more than a month the family searched for Sonya. On March 14, 1999, a police officer knocked on their door. Sonya’s body had been discovered in southeast Williamson County. She had been badly beaten and dumped on the side of County Road 490.
"You’d think that it gets easier. It doesn’t," said Gonzales. "It was really hard in the beginning. I used to follow people in the grocery store that looked like her, because I swore that, you know, they made a mistake."
Sgt. John Pokorny is with Williamson County’s Cold Case Unit. He says investigators believe Sonya was killed shortly after she disappeared — her body dumped soon after. Pokorny says investigators have no reason to believe Sonya was abducted by a stranger. "This is definitely somebody that probably she knew or hung around with."
He is asking anybody who knew, even knew of Sonya to reach out to the Williamson County Cold Case Unit. "[They] definitely could have that piece of the puzzle to help solve the case."
Today Sonya would have been almost 40. Many of her Rockdale High School classmates have children of their own — some Sonya’s age.
Gonzales says the grief has devastated her family. She says her two sons struggled deeply and are both incarcerated. She watches two of her grandchildren. She says they give her purpose. Her granddaughter even reminds her of Sonya.
"I just want to know why, because I’ll forgive," she said. "I don’t believe in the death penalty. I don’t believe in that. I don’t believe one person has the right to say ‘this one has to die.’ It’s not right. I just want to know why, why?"
Anyone who knew, or knew of Sonya Wallace in the late 1990s is encouraged to contact the Williamson County Cold Case Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-943-5204.