People Magazine Investigates Recap for Who Killed Our Girls?

People Magazine Investigates Recap for Who Killed Our Girls?

People Magazine Investigates Recap for Who Killed Our Girls?

People Magazine Investigates Recap for Who Killed Our Girls?

-This week’s People Magazine Investigates is titled Who Killed Our Girls and focuses on the Yogurt Shop Murders from 1991. Four girls were killed: Eliza Thomas, Amy Ayers and sisters Sarah and Jennifer Harbison.

-Their families reflect on them fondly and how they had bright futures ahead of them.

-Eliza and Jennifer worked together at I Can’t Believe It’s Not Yogurt and were often visited by friends, including Sarah and her best friend Amy.

-On that fateful day, December 6th, 1991, Sarah and Amy would visit Jennifer and Eliza at work with plans to have a sleepover after work. A police officer had passed the store and noticed it on fire, so he called it in. Firefighters responded to the scene and noticed the place blackened with smoke. Further investigation revealed that four female bodies were there….shot to death. The place is now a crime scene.

-The families are devastated and will stop at nothing to get answers.

-DNA was found at the scene and it is inferred that the girls were killed before the fire was started.

-Police got in touch with everyone who was there that night to determine who could have been the final customer of the night and who could have killed the girls. One couple claimed that they saw two men there late in the night and were still hanging around when they left. They were young, between 5’4″ and 5’7″ and dressed in puffy coats and jeans. A Latino man was also at the scene, lurking in his car. Enough witnesses were able to get a composite sketch of him.

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-While the families were planning the funeral, a tip line was put in place in hopes of getting clues.

-Days later, Maurice Pierce was caught with a gun not too far from where the murders took place. He was only seventeen when he was arrested for this incident. He was taken to juvie and interrogated. He admitted to being at the shop with Forrest Wellborn, Robert Springsteen and Michael Scott the night of the murders. He claimed the three of them committed the murder/arson. He did not implicate himself, but was the wheelman in a stolen car.

-The four of them were questioned, with focus on Forrest. Maurice wore a wire to try and get Forrest to implicate himself, but this ends up being a dead end. Due to the lack of DNA, there is doubt that they are involved….until a previous witness named Lucilla was able to pick Maurice out of a lineup of photos.

-Maurice’s gun is also tested at the time, but the bullets were too old to be a match. Police are back to square one.

-In the fall of 1992, almost a year later, the Austin police department have a sketch from a sex crime that was similar to the one the police had. It was Alberto Cortez, who was arrested in Mexico……and confessed to the yogurt shop murders.

-However, the gun and confession did not match what was found at the crime scene. He finally admitted to being coerced into confessing.

-The case soon went cold until August 31, 1999. A new criminal profile inferred that the criminals were young, disorganized and most likely left town after. This brings Maurice and his friends back to being suspects. They are all grown up and living their own lives, but are brought back for questioning. After Michael and Robert confess, all four are arrested, despite Forrest and Maurice not confessing.

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-Despite the confession, there is not enough evidence to hold Maurice and Forrest. They are let go while the other two are tried for the murders.

-Both men admit to being coerced into confessing during their trials. However, they were both found guilty.

-Appeals were filed in both cases. These are delayed until  March 2008, when new DNA evidence is found. They are NOT a match to any of the guys, setting Michael and Robert free. The families are left once again grieving and without answers.

-The case once again goes cold and remains unsolved.

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