TCSO town hall to address concerns including Del Valle homicides
AUSTIN, Texas - FOX 7 has an exclusive update from the Travis County Sheriff's Office on several Del Valle homicides.
The killings happened last year within a two-month period. This is one of many topics they'll be addressing at Wednesday's town hall meeting. The hope is to ease the concerns of residents.
The sheriff's office says most of the violent crimes they see, are drug related. They're hoping to put an end to that. It's been more than six months since the rash of homicides in Del Valle, a total of eight between September and October. Two big cases remain unsolved.
"I'm prepared that people are going to have questions about the homicides that happened late in 2016. We still have detectives that are assigned to those cases that are working those daily. We've tried several little initiatives over the last couple of months just to try to drum up new leads, talk to more people, and see what we could find out. Those homicides are obviously, clearly, a priority for our agency to solve," says Capt. Craig Smith, Travis County Sheriff's Office.
First there was the quadruple homicide on September 8th. It happened at a home on the 8300 block of Linden Road. About three weeks later, two decomposed bodies were found in a field in the 16000 block of Pearce Lane. Those are the two cases detectives are still working on. On October 30th, a body was found in the trunk of a burning car on Buck Lane. The very next day the body of a woman was found in the roadway near Wolf Lane and FM 535. Arrests were made in both cases.
"Travis County continues daily to grow and as that population growth continues to rise and rise and rise, we get our share of those bad apples. So we are seeing a bit of an increase when it comes to drug activity, it seems that some of the gang activity seems to be getting a little bit worse. I think that we've done a good job with the deploying of resources," says Capt. Smith.
With all cases, Capt. Craig Smith says detectives work hand-in-hand with other local agencies. It's a team effort.
"When there is an auto-theft ring or a burglary ring, the criminals aren't just staying in one place in Travis County. They're traveling around. So the other agencies rely on us as much as we rely on them because we start comparing the trends and patterns that we see, so that we can develop suspects. Homicides are a much more complex-involved investigation," says Capt. Smith.
That's why they reach out for bigger resources on the state and federal level. The sheriff's office continues to work solving the rest of the Del Valle homicides from last year. There have also been seven homicides across the county just this year.
"You know, this year has been tough on our agency as well as local agencies in the area with violent crime," says Capt. Smith.
Capt. Smith says they aim to put a stop to that as they continue to step up their efforts. You can learn more about their efforts Wednesday. The sheriff's office will be hosting a town hall meeting at 6:30 pm and it's expected to last around two hours. It will be held at the fire station at 9019 Elroy Road. At the meeting they'll also be releasing crime statistics for the area and hoping to answer any questions residents may have.