2 Katy cold cases: Can you help?
Only two major crimes remain unsolved at the Katy Police Department, and they include one cold case in which officers can't prove a crime even took place.
Katy Police Department Chief W.M. "Bill" Hastings, said, "We're just fortunate we don't have that many major cases that take place. These two cases are particularly frustrating, when you're 99 percent sure of who did it but can't prove it."
Hastings also said how the case is treated at the beginning has a lot to do with whether or not it becomes a cold case.
"I think our low count of cold cases shows a diligent effort at the time the case occurs," Hastings said. "Your best chance to solve it is when it first happens."
According to Katy Police Department Capt. Gay Dickerson, the oldest case concerns the disappearance of Elizabeth Ann Pfeifer, who was 20 years old on April 12, 1986, when she left home with her parents in Katy to attend a party on the outskirts of town, about 10 miles away. Records show Pfeifer never returned home.
She wasn’t reported missing for six days due to her proclivity for disappearing for short periods of time.
Witnesses at the party said Pfeifer became extremely intoxicated at the party and left with a man around midnight. Police identified and questioned the man Pfeifer reportedly left with.
According to the man, the pair drove to his Houston apartment where they used drugs. He said that on their way back to Katy, the pair stopped at a gasoline station on Mason Road and, while the man was filling the car with gas, Pfeifer got into a brown pickup truck driven by a person she appeared to know.
According to the man, who was interviewed years later while he was in prison, he had no idea where Pfeifer was going. Dickerson said the man did not take a polygraph test.
Pfeifer did not take her purse, money or identification with her when she left, Dickerson said, and police suspect she is a murder victim. She is listed as endangered missing.
Pfeifer was 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighed 110 pounds. A Caucasian, she had brown hair, blue eyes and a tattoo of a red rose with the name "Dave" printed underneath the rose on her left shoulder. She was last seen wearing a white blouse with lavender sleeves and blue jeans.
Dickerson said Pfeifer has been listed in the CODIS system, a software program that operates local, state and national data on DNA profiles from convicted offenders or missing persons.
The second case is the murder of 25-year-old Katy resident Jerry Lewis on July 19, 1991.
Police records show Lewis' body was found at 11:20 p.m. on Danover Street at Stockdick after having been seen alive at 10:30 p.m. at a small bar in Katy. Lewis had a .25 caliber gunshot wound to the head and a large amount of cocaine in his body when he was found, Dickerson said.
The biggest difficulty with cold cases is locating witnesses, Dickerson said.
"About five years ago we questioned three subjects," Dickerson said. "But when you initially interview more than 20 people, after a few years people don't really remember."
The Lewis case was botched from the very beginning, Hastings said.
"His file had a clear photo of a gloved hand pointing to the gunshot wound in his head in the top left side, and we had the .25 caliber shell casing. But when the report came back from the medical examiner's office in Houston, the report said he died of a cocaine overdose."
According to Hastings, the police department requested the cause of death be changed to gunshot wound and the medical examiner complied.
According to Dickerson, no recent leads have turned up in the case.
People who have information about either case are asked to call the Katy Police Department at 281-391-4848.
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