Houston woman's 1996 murder that was featured on '13 Unsolved' showcased as a featured DPS cold case

Texas DPS' increased reward of up to $6,000 is being offered for a limited time.

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Thursday, May 12, 2022
Unsolved: A Life Never Lived
Kristen Wilson, 29, had been strangled and possibly sexually assaulted, according to police. She was found dead by her family on November 27, 1996.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Last September, 13 Unsolved, ABC13's award-winning streaming series that shines a light on Houston's true crimes that have gone cold, reported exclusively on recently unearthed details into a 29-year-old woman's murder that was committed before Thanksgiving in 1996.

Now, Kristen Lea Wilson's killing is being showcased statewide as part of an effort to generate more tips that can lead to the case finally being solved more than 25 years later.

13 UNSOLVED: Kristen Wilson's Thanksgiving 1996 murder remains a mystery

On Wednesday, Texas Department of Public Safety upped the reward in Wilson's case from a maximum of $3,000 to up to $6,000. There is a catch: the case's reward amount applies to information that leads to an arrest if the tip is received before DPS' next featured cold case, which is announced bi-monthly.

Tips in Wilson's murder, as well as any other cold case, can be submitted through the DPS website or at the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477).

As the 13 Unsolved episode showed, Wilson's body was discovered on Nov. 27, 1996, after she didn't show up at her family's home for Thanksgiving. Her parents went to her apartment in southwest Houston, where her parents found her.

"He [Kristen's father] was just hysterical," said Barbara Wilson, Kristen's mother, recalling that day. "She's lying down on the floor, on her back, not fully nude but partially nude from the waist down and her clothes were pulled up from her top."

Investigators revealed that there was evidence that Wilson's killer had been waiting for her due to the phone cord being cut and lightbulbs unscrewed at the time.

You can stream the episode dedicated to this case - "A Life Never Lived" - on abc13.com/unsolved, as well as the "Unsolved" series on Hulu.