PALESTINE, TX–An 86-year-old Palestine woman was murdered on Tuesday as she walked in the downtown area of Palestine and police are asking the public for their help.
Velma Miller was found dead, apparently mauled, by an unknown suspect.
“She just loved shopping downtown,” Susan Miller, Velma’s daughter said. “She would walk downtown every day and night in the hopes that someone had rented one of the historic buildings and set up a shop. That didn’t happen very often, but she still did her walks. She was pretty loyal and, before you ask, perfectly sane.”
Police say that a homeless man saw the attack and provided a description of the suspect which is believed to be the same suspect in the robbery of the Gateway Travel Plaza on Oak Street earlier this week.
“We’re doing our best to find the suspect,” Police Chief Mike Alexander said. “We’re asking the public to help with information that may lead us to arrest the suspect, but we aren’t offering a reward at this point. I mean, why put too much effort in the death of a woman who walked in downtown Palestine to shop? This suspect probably saved her a ton of money compared to what she would have spent on Amazon.”
Police released the same sketch that was released in the earlier robbery believing the same suspect is involved in both crimes.
“We need to do something and fast,” Palestine Mayor Bob Herrington said with his bright orange mop of hair flopping in the wind.. “I don’t know who this character is, but this is the second day of this week I’ve been out here at a crime scene. I had already done my hair for the night and was in bed this time, I mean, it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon for Christ’s sake! I’m pissed!”
“I think the blame should be placed on the city manager,” District 5 Councilman Doug Smith said when contacted by telephone. “I would stop short of saying she needs to be fired, I mean, we are just talking about a dead lady, Violet or whatever her name is, I don’t know. Wendy has done far worse than this, let me tell you.”
“I’m wondering if this is the Lemur from Elkhart,” Sheriff Greg Taylor told The Dogwood Tale. “I see some similarity in the sketch, but I’m not completely sure. I’ll get an investigator to compare the sketch to known photos of the Lemur. It’s too early in the investigation and this is just a hunch.”