Bolivar murder case gets new leads

July 19, 2009 8:02:26 AM PDT
A murder case that's been cold for several months now has some new leads. And one woman is on a mission to get it solved.Investigators believe they could be closer to finding her killer after they received a tip. When the body of Bridgett Gearen was discovered on a Bolivar Peninsula beach two years ago, President of Bolivar Chamber of Commerce Anne Willis donated her own money to help catch the killer.

"Things like that just don't happen like that here," said Willis.

Willis in finally seeing that money put to use.

"We feel this is very significant," said Major Ray Tuttoillmonda with the Galveston's County Sheriff's Office.

The Galveston County sheriff's office confirms it's identified what it calls people of interest -- at least two men from outside of Texas who they believe know intimate details about Gearen's death.

"We believe there are some very strong relationships here directly involving her death," said Major Tuttoillmondo.

Gearen, a single mother from Orange, was staying in a Crystal Beach guesthouse with friends when she walked out onto the beach and disappeared. Campers would later find her body in the water. She had been strangled, sexually assaulted and brutalized.

"We have some very long term 30-year plus veterans working this case and they even characterize this as one of the most brutal crimes they've ever seen," said Major Tuttoillmondo.

Investigators say the persons of interest were in Crystal Beach when the crime happened, although at this point, they have not been officially ruled suspects. For Willis, who lives less than two miles from the crime scene, she's hopeful this tip will finally yield some answers.

"I hope they will be able to capture somebody and we can put it to rest," she said. "I know it would be great for the family and least they will have some closure."

If you have any information in this case, you are asked to call the Galveston County Sheriff's Office at 866-248-8477. A $25,000 reward is being offered.

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