Big breaks in two cold cases

August 13, 2009 10:16:44 AM PDT
The Harris County Sheriff's Office has announced breaks in two cold cases. They say two murder cases were solved by its cold case squad. Investigators tell us the two crimes may have been committed by the same person. Samantha Lynn Lange has been charged with murder in one case and they say they've linked her to a second cold case.

Lange was already behind bars on a firearms theft charge. After further investigation by the Harris County Sheriff's Office cold case unit into the murder of Clarence Payne, 88, her name kept coming up as an acquaintance.

Payne lived in the Cloverleaf area and was beaten in his home during a burglary in 2004. He eventually died from his injuries.

Investigators wouldn't go into detail about the evidence, but say it even links Lange to a second murder -- the 2005 killing of Shirleanne Pasquinel.

"The connection was an acquaintance. She knew both of them just from living in the area," said Lt. Rolf Nelson with the Harris County Sheriff's Office. "It's a very close-knit community on the east side of Harris County. She knew both of them from just meeting in the neighborhood and befriending them."

The charges have already been filed against Lange in the Payne case, but not in the Pasquinel case.

Lange had known Payne since she was seven years old.

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