It's now been almost 24 years since 29-year-old Kathleen Suckley was brutally murdered inside her home on meandering lane here in Corpus Christi.
CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) -
It has now been almost 24 years since 29-year-old Kathleen Suckley was brutally murdered inside her home on Meandering Lane in Corpus Christi.
Suckley's boyfriend at the time was arrested for the murder, but the district attorney dropped the case due to insufficent evidence; but now, two decades later, police say they believe they can make an arrest soon.
Suckley had it all -- a beautiful smile; two sons, three-year-old Dutch and one-year-old Kody. She and her husband, Nat Suckley, had just moved to Corpus Christi from California. After they separated at the end of 1992, Suckley started dating somebody new -- her boss, Stephen Connor, whose name no one would forget after April 8, 1993.
Suckley's parents, who live in California, remember the phone call.
"An officer of the Corpus Christi Police Department said, 'Are you Kim Schleicher?' I said yes," Kim said. "He said, 'Your daughter is dead.'"
Suckley had been brutally murdered inside her southside home -- stabbed over 40 times. Her sons were inside. CCPD Detective R.L. Garcia was at the scene that day and has made it his mission to solve the case before he retires from the department.
According to friends and family, Suckley had just told Connor she was going back to California to reconcile with her husband.
Connor was arrested for the murder of Suckley, but when it came time for trial, the attorneys decided there wasn't sufficient evidence to make the proper conviction. They dropped the case completely and Connor was set free.
Still, Suckley's parents and best friend said there are details from that day that point to Connor, starting with what Suckley's oldest son, Dutch, witnessed.
So what happened that day? Where did the evidence go and was it handled properly? Detective Garcia and Commander John Houston, head of the CCPD's Cold Case Unit, said that investigation could have gone differently due to resources and how Connor was questioned in the first 48 hours.
Now, Nueces County has a new district attorney, and the police department can test DNA evidence, old and new, with top-of-the-line equipment. That combination may be the answer to making an arrest.
Dutch passed away three years ago on his 24th birthday from a mixture of drugs and alcohol. Suckley's best friend, who raised the boys, said Dutch never mentally recovered from watching his mother be murdered. She, along with Suckley's parents, said more than anything they want and need justice.
3News reached out to Connor via Facebook and tried to make contact at his listed address, but never heard back from him.
Detective Garcia and his team are just waiting for the perfect moment, when all evidence and statements align, to make an arrest.