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New leads turn up the heat on local 21-year-old cold case

KILLEEN, TEXAS - New leads following recent interviews may soon bring closure in a 21-year-old cold case that has rocked the community of Killeen to its core. 

On April 30, 1997, 7-year-old Danydia Thompson was walking the same 4 blocks from her home to Malboro Elementary School like she did every morning with her two cousins and brother. 

Except this day, she never made it. 

Witnesses told Killeen Police Detectives at the time, they saw Danydia walking with her family members and as they approached the school on Rev. Abercrombie Dr. the four separated. 

During those crucial seconds, an unidentified black man with an afro hair style called out to the little girl. 

Several people reported seeing the two talking before he picked her up and walked away with Danydia riding 'piggyback' style. 

The man was wearing a black waist-length jacket, black baggy jeans, and tennis shoes according to a Killeen Police Press Release back in 1997. 

None of the witnesses recognized the suspect. 

And police never did interview the man. 

For seven days, the community of Killeen searched for the missing girl until that fateful day when a group of volunteer searchers found Danydia's decomposing body was found on Highway 195 South of Killeen near the Lampasas River.  

"This was Killeen's daughter, everybody was out looking for her and ultimately they found her, now it's our job to find the person who do it, the burden lies within this department to find out who did it," said Lead Detective on the case, Fred Harris. 

Harris has handled this case since 2011 and says he strongly believes he knows who killed Danydia after new evidence has been uncovered. 

"So we've had a couple of interviews with a few different people and based on some of their statements, it has confirmed that evidence that was collected in 1997 correlate with each other," said Harris, "I'm confident that the information we have received will springboard this case forward in a positive manner, more than years past."

Harris says he's even trying new techniques to make sure no stone is left unturned.

"We've done a number of polygraphs, hypnosis sessions, we've done hand writing statement analysis, we have done it all, followed up on anonymous tips, even talked to psychics and this case to me is personal. The thug that would abduct a 7-year-old and leave her on the side of the road and leave her out there like trash needs to be in prison."

Harris confirms for the first time in over 20 years, he has a person of interest and feels strongly that they will be prosecuted for Capital Murder very soon. 

Texas DPS and the FBI have also contributed to this case. 

If you have any information about the Danydia Thompson Murder Case, you're asked to call the Bell County Crime Stoppers or Killeen Police.

You may remain anonymous. 

"There is someone out there that knows something," said Harris, "I'm not sure if they're scared, or they think their information is so small it won't help, or that they'll get in trouble, they won't we just want the information because that can help us close this for once and for all." 

There is a $3,000.00 reward. 

 


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