The slain teen’s family plans to place this plaque and a cross at the site where the girl's body was found in 1984. (Courtesy photo)
MERIDIAN (October 14, 2011)--A Bosque County farmer made a discovery 27 years ago that he's never been able to forget and now he’s helping to ensure that the slain teenage runaway whose body he found is never forgotten.
Helen Marie Kilgore was 13 in April 1984 when she ran away from her home in Corpus Christi and headed to Killeen, evidently hoping to become an exotic dancer.
But not long after she was reported missing, her body was found alongside a Bosque County road, just northeast of Meridian.
She had been savagely beaten and then shot in the head.
The farmer who discovered her body, Durwood Koonsman, is now a Bosque County commissioner and it was he and the other members of the Commissioners Court who gave permission to Kilgore's sister to place a memorial plaque and cross at the site where the girl's body was found.
Kelly Gonzalez, who still lives in Corpus Christi, said she wants not only to memorialize her younger sister, but also to bring attention to the case in hopes of providing investigators with new evidence that might lead them to the girl's killer.
"It's an old cold case, but I've been working on it very hard since the first of the year", Bosque County sheriff’s investigator Clint Pullin said.
Pullin said there is little evidence in the case, but he does know the body was found alongside Bosque County Road 1120 between Meridian and Morgan, wrapped in a blue blanket "like a U-Haul moving blanket.”
Kilgore was last seen in April 1984 in Corpus Christi, getting into a car with an Hispanic man, Pullin said.
"The next time she was seen was when her body was found," Pullin said.
Pullin said investigators believe she may have been killed elsewhere, put into the trunk of a car and later dumped along the road in Bosque County.
Pullin said Texas Rangers joined the investigation in 1984 and officers did identify a suspect, but a Bosque County grand jury declined to indict him.
"We're ready to do this and it's time we got it done," Gonzalez said.
She said the slain teen’s family is working to prepare the cross and plaque and plans to erect the memorial as soon as it is finished.