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Archive for Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Son of 1989 murder victim frustrated by lack of information

May 16, 2012

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Dallas resident Brian Torres with friend Bridget Hughes earlier this year. Torres, now 30, is the son of Nilsa Sanchez, who was murdered near Lawrence in 1989. The case has never been solved, and until recently, Torres was unaware of that his mother was murdered.

Dallas resident Brian Torres with friend Bridget Hughes earlier this year. Torres, now 30, is the son of Nilsa Sanchez, who was murdered near Lawrence in 1989. The case has never been solved, and until recently, Torres was unaware of that his mother was murdered.

In this file photo from Sept. 12, 1989, Angelina Guadalupe holds photos of her daughter, Nilsa Sanchez, a Lawrence-area mother of two who was found murdered.

In this file photo from Sept. 12, 1989, Angelina Guadalupe holds photos of her daughter, Nilsa Sanchez, a Lawrence-area mother of two who was found murdered.

Nilsa Sanchez

Nilsa Sanchez

A Dallas man, who recently discovered that his mother, Nilsa Sanchez, was murdered near Lawrence in 1989, says he’s been frustrated by a lack of information provided by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office about the unsolved case.

“They really didn’t tell me anything,” said Brian Torres, 31.

Torres was 7 years old in August 1989 when his mother’s strangled body was found stuffed into a 36-inch-wide culvert under North 1400 Road near Stull, west of Lawrence. Following child abuse allegations earlier that year, state officials removed Torres from the home he shared with his mother in the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Street.

For years, Torres had been told his mother died of natural causes, but last month he found a 2009 Journal-World article online detailing his mother’s murder. Since then, he’s been in contact with a detective working the cold case, but has been provided little information, Torres said.

“He wouldn’t give me any details,” he said.

Undersheriff Steve Hornberger said that evidence from the case was sent to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation a few months ago, but he would not specify what the evidence was or what type of testing would be performed. Hornberger said disclosure of more details “could potentially negatively impact the case.”

Hornberger also did not specify what prompted the sheriff’s office to submit evidence in the 22-year-old cold case, or why the evidence wasn’t submitted sooner.

From the start, the case has baffled investigators.

Two days into the initial investigation, the sheriff’s office activated the Capital Area Major Case Squad, or the M-Squad, a unit of law enforcement agents in the region who assist in criminal investigations.

The M-Squad logged more than 4,000 investigative hours, followed more than 500 leads and collected more than 300 pieces of evidence, but made no arrests.

In the years since, it’s not clear what, if any, progress has been made in the case.

Local law enforcement says the case is the only unsolved cold case murder in the county in the past few decades.

It’s unclear when testing on the submitted evidence will take place, as the KBI does not comment on time lines for specific cases.

Comments

ottawaway 2 years, 6 months ago

I find it interesting that local law enforcement state's that this is the only unsolved murder in the county. What about Corey Brown????

shaunepec 2 years, 6 months ago

ottawaway, Good point. It's probably more accurate to say it's the only unsolved cold case murder.

Thanks

Shaun Hittle LJW

pace 2 years, 6 months ago

Mike you might not care about ignored or unsolved cases but decent people do. So if you can't be polite you might consider not passing personal remarks.

Jayhawk1958 2 years, 6 months ago

Isn't this a reprint of an earlier article? I didn't read any new findings in this article.

pace 2 years, 6 months ago

What official keeps claiming this is the only unsolved murder? Is it a pr claim, is it purposeful?

puddleglum 2 years, 6 months ago

seems weird.. they know the description of the car involved, yet it never gets mentioned in these stories....why?

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