Killeen police received new information and are moving forward on a new lead in the 15-year-old cold case murder of 7-year-old Danydia “Nee Nee” Thompson.
Danydia was found dead with her body placed along the Lampasas River eight days after she was abducted near Marlboro Elementary School on April 30, 1997.
Her death grew to haunt the community, with more questions than answers as the investigation continued without an arrest.
“It was a very high-profile case,” said police spokeswoman Carroll Smith. “That just makes it all the better when we do have a lead.”
Detective Fred Harris is conducting the investigation.
Police would not give any further information on the nature of the new lead, but Smith said the department felt a need to publicize the investigation.
“We want to make sure it is a solid lead,” Smith said. “We want people to know that we don’t just put this in a box when we hit a wall.”
The suspect in the case is a black male, and was 25 to 26 years old in 1997. He is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds. He has dark skin, a slender nose. At the time of Thompson’s kidnapping, he had a 3-inch afro, thick mustache. He wore a black waist-length jacket, black baggy jeans and light-colored tennis shoes.
During the initial investigation, police came to believe the suspect kidnapped the first-grader either while she was on her way to school or shortly after she arrived.
A witness saw the suspect giving Danydia a piggy-back ride.
The case drew national attention, with spots running on “America’s Most Wanted.”
Recently, the Texas Department of Public Safety listed Danydia’s homicide as a featured cold case on its website.
Despite the publicity, Smith said the new lead was not developed through a Crime Stoppers tip, but she urged anyone with information to use the tip line.
Bell County Crime Stoppers can be reached at (254) 526-8477. Tips also can be submitted at www.bellcountycrimestoppers.com or by texting BELLCO to 274637 along with the tip.
All tips are confidential and can be made anonymously. A tip leading to an arrest is eligible for a $1,000 reward.