Marshall County Sheriff's Office reopens cold case 32 years later

Published: Nov. 1, 2017 at 10:59 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

On Feb. 23, 1985 a local farmer found a naked, decomposed body by the side of a creek on Cliff Rd. outside of Kingston.

The body was that of a Hispanic man with "Anita" tattooed on the right arm but his identity remained unknown until recently.

"About three months ago they identified Guadelupe Gaona who resided at that time in Grand Prairie, Texas," Undersheriff Ed Kent said.

Kent said medical examiners were opening cold cases when they found the match through DNA comparison.

Now, 32 years later, the Marshall County Sheriff's office is reopening the case.

"We would just like to get a resolution and find out what happened and who did what to Guadelupe," Kent said.

According to the medical examiner's report from 1985, Gaona died from the gunshot wound to the head from a small caliber gun.

The report also states Gaona was killed in Arlington, Texas and brought to Marshall County.

The North American Missing Persons Network states Gaona was last seen in Grand Prairie in November 1984 but he was not reported missing until two years later because his family believed he was in the witness protection program, but the U.S. Marshals have no evidence proving that.

"If you're not from around here, you're not going to know where Cliff Road and that creek is, which makes me think there was some local involvement," Kent said.

Kent says during the initial investigation two people of interest were named -- brothers Jimmy and Jackie Herndon.

Both brothers were known to be involved in drugs during this time which made investigators believe Gaona's death could have been drug related.

But Kent says they are unable to find the original documents from the case and both of the Herndons have since died.

That's why he's asking the public if you have any information about the brothers -- or Gaona -- to give their office a call.

"Hopefully there's some citizens out here that might have been aware of what the drug trafficking issues were at that time and how it might have been that Guadelupe ended up in a creek in Marshall County," Kent said.