By Justin Cox
Killeen Daily Herald
More than three weeks after the July 4 double homicide at the Dollar General store in Killeen, the cause of death for one of the victims has been released to the public.
Justice of the Peace Garland Potvin said Sheila Reed, 40, of Killeen, died of multiple gunshot wounds on the morning of July 4 during the course of a robbery at the Dollar General store in the 4100 block of Stan Schlueter Loop.
Potvin, who pronounced Reed dead at 8:49 a.m. that morning, released the information Friday afternoon after he signed off on the death certificate, which he received in the mail earlier in the day.
Potvin said the 23-day delay in releasing preliminary autopsy results is a bit unusual and said he did not know why the Killeen Police Department has been so tight-lipped on releasing any details about the crime.
Reed's co-worker, Gricelda P. Ramos, 28, was found in critical condition by police and airlifted to Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, where she was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace David Barfield at 10:36 a.m. that same morning.
Neither the lead investigator in the case for Killeen police, Detective Karl Ortiz, nor the designated public affairs officer for KPD could be reached for comment Friday.
Potvin said that KPD has the authority to withhold pertinent information relating to the homicides for as long as it remains an active investigation, but he could not comment on the specific reasons KPD officials have for holding off on releasing such details in this case.
A representative with the Dallas County Medical Examiner, the office that receives and conducts autopsies of homicides in the Killeen area, said their examiners usually release the body to the appropriate funeral home the day after they receive it, and subsequently file their report with the JP's office that requested the autopsy as well as the investigating agency in charge; otherwise, the reports are kept confidential.
The representative said the JP doesn't necessarily have to agree with the examiner's cause of death when signing off on the death certificate.
The apparent secrecy extends to the other victim, Ramos, in the case as well. Though Barfield could not be reached for comment Friday, an administrative assistant in Barfield's office in Temple said the JP has yet to sign off on the death certificate of the 28-year-old mother, who left behind two sons, ages 2 and 1.
Dollar General Corp. is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
The case continues to be investigated by Killeen police detectives, who now have a pair of unsolved double homicides from this year on their active case list. Investigators are still looking for those responsible in the April 28 shooting deaths of a Killeen man and woman who were found in their home on Grasslands Drive.
Anyone with information about the slayings is asked to call the Killeen Police Department at (254) 501-8800 or Crime Stoppers at (254) 526-TIPS (8477).
Contact Justin Cox at email@example.com or call (254) 501-7568