Arrests made in two cold cases in Galveston Co.

Carla Blankenship, 54, was found stabbed to death in her Hitchcock home by her son.

March 27, 2010 8:51:27 PM PDT
The Galveston County sheriff's office has closed two cold cases this weekend, both of them murders, and one of them involving the death of a woman whose son found her body. The last 26 months have seemed like an eternity for the victim's son, Tony Gardner. It's been that long since the day he'll never wipe from his mind.

"She was lying on the bed when I found her, face down with a pillow over her head," said Gardner.

It was January 2008 when he found his mother, 54-year-old Carla Blankenship, stabbed to death in her Hitchcock home. He'd gone there after not being able to reach her on her cell phone.

"Your whole life you got mom and then she's gone," said Gardner. "But I lost her and a best friend. She was a great person."

But now, he's learned that sheriff's investigators have finally arrested a man they say they suspected from the beginning, a man that Gardner knew as his mother's boyfriend, 54-year-old Willard Clay Mobley. It was news that Gardner has waited to hear for 26 months but now has absorbed with mixed and conflicting emotions.

"It's joy. It's bittersweet. It's bittersweet," he said. "You think when you're going to close something like that, you got closure and everything gonna relax and it's a weight off your shoulders, but then it stirs up the emotions."

A family member of the accused told us she's been advised by an attorney not to comment on the arrest because the investigation is still ongoing.

In the second cold case, investigators tell us they arrested 36-year-old Thomas Mahoney III for the 2005 murder of his mother, Mildred Campbell.

Mahoney was the one who called first called police, claiming he'd found his mother unconscious and bleeding outside his home in Santa Fe. He is in jail on $100,000 bond.


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