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Friendswood police honor volunteers in cold case investigations

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Police Chief Robert Wieners recognized community volunteers and business owners for helping police in their months-long search for human remains.

Friendswood Police Chief Robert Wieners recognized community volunteers and business owners for helping police in their painstaking search for human remains.

The remains of Jessica Cain and Kelli Cox were discovered over the last two months in Southeast Houston and Brazoria County respectively. Excavating the fields to find them was a huge undertaking, and police leaned on the community for help.

Friendswood Police Chief Robert Wieners said police would not have been successful had they not had assistance from people like Jerry Garza.

"We didn't have to ask them. They stepped up on their own," said Friendswood Police Chief Robert Wieners.

Garza was building his new office next to the dig site on East Orem drive when he noticed police were having trouble digging deep enough.

"They were struggling," Garza said.

VIDEO: Law enforcement honors community volunteers in Cain, Cox cases
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Police honored volunteers who helped authorities locate the bodies of Jessica Cain and Kelli Cox.

Garza loaned police a massive excavator that would dig 30 feet into the ground if necessary. After weeks of searching, police found human bones.

Mark Boyer, who owns Boyer Inc. in Houston, also donated equipment.

Monday night, Boyer, Garza and others were honored at city hall.

"Part of me wanted to find them as much as Friendswood police and Texas Rangers did. It meant a lot to me. It was part of me that had to be there," explained Mark Sandoval, who donated a week's vacation to operate one of the track hoes.

Investigators were led to the locations in southeast Houston and Brazoria county by convicted rapist and kidnapper William Reece. When the digs weren't yielding results, there were doubters.

Friendswood police Captain Josh Rogers wasn't among them.

"We had no choice with the information he was providing giving the seriousness of what we were looking at to get it all done," said Rogers.

Reece has admitted involvement in the kidnapping and murders of 4 women from 1997: Jessica Cain, Kelli Cox, Laura Smither and Tiffany Johnston of Oklahoma.

"He could face anywhere from murder to kidnapping to possible capital murder in Texas," said Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady Monday night.

Charges are still being discussed among many jurisdictions as the city says thank you for the help to close this chapter.

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policecold caseFriendswood
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