Woman found fatally shot along Highway 288

Valerie Ricks, 55, of Houston, suffered an gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

July 27, 2011 3:05:58 PM PDT
A woman was found dead along Highway 288 near Blodgett early Wednesday morning, prompting a murder mystery for police. This homicide investigation is going to take some time but detectives say someone shot this woman in the head and dumped her body on the feeder road.

Crime scene investigators from the Houston Police Department and the Medical Examiner's trace team were going over the woman's body and clothing for several hours, after someone driving by noticed the body and called 911.

The victim has been identified as Valerie Ricks, 55. Detectives believe she may have been killed somewhere else and dumped here. They also believe she may have been sexually assaulted because part of her clothing was removed.

The people who discovered her body at 4:40am were stunned.

"When we got out of our car, there was blood. There was a lot of blood," said witness Noah Edger. "You could see from a distance that she wasn't breathing."

Although there is a gunshot wound to the head, an autopsy will determine Rick's official cause of death. The ME says that could take until Friday.

Investigators are asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of Ms. Ricks prior to her death to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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