The murder of Rickey Herriage marked 35 years today. Both the county sheriff and family are still waiting for more information to surface.
ATHENS, Texas — A gloomy rainy day in Athens marks the 35th year since Rickey Herriage was murdered.
His case remains unsolved and his family is desperately searching for answers.
“Ricky was very loving, big brother. He was very protective of his siblings and his family,” Virginia Culpepper, Rickey’s sister said.
His case is one out of several cold cases that remain unsolved.
“Our family has hurt every second of these 35 years,” Culpepper said. “My mother’s will be 83 in August. We all need justice and this unsolved murder needs to be solved. It’s been too long and it’s time for justice.”
Rickey’s body was found in a creek after a night out in the town.
A night that left law enforcement and the family with so many unanswered questions.
“They did everything they could at the time,” Botie Hillhouse, Henderson County Sheriff said. “I mean, they did a lot of polygraphs, they did a lot of interviews, you know, they collected evidence that they could. At the time, it was just harder to solve a case.”
Even with the difficulty of not having DNA technology, the family says that the previous office didn’t do enough.
“To my knowledge, I don’t think they talked to a lot of these people that were around him,” Anette Herriage, Rickey’s mother said. “I had not one police officer, not the sheriff’s department, not the investigator, no one came to my home, ever.”
But this does not stop the current sheriff’s office from trying to find new leads.
Evidence collected in 1987 was sent to a private lab in California and a DNA profile was created.
“However, at this point, we don’t know if it was a suspect or if it was someone working the scene, maybe a funeral home, we don’t know,” Sheriff Hillhouse said. “The DNA profile was entered into Codice and we haven’t gotten a hit on it.”
The family won’t rest until justice is found for Rickey Herriage. Rickey would’ve been 64 today.
“He missed out on life in general,” Culpepper said. “Somebody took that away from him at a young age of 29.”
The reward for information leading to an arrest has been increased to $20,000.
If anyone has information that could help solve this case, call the Henderson County crime stoppers at 1-800-545-TIPS.