Still solvable: Detectives work to keep 1987 case alive of security guard left to die

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Detectives say they believe the case of a security guard who was left to die 31 years ago is still solvable. (KTRK)

This week on Eyewitness News, we're introducing you to families of murder victims whose killers haven't been caught.

Most of them have come to us looking for answers. But who fights for the victim when there's no family left?

Thirty-one years ago, Jasbir Singh had just moved to the United States from Pakistan. He hadn't been in Texas long when he took a job as a security guard at a machine shop in Pinehurst.

The shop, Tubular Protection of America, used to sit along FM 149.

Singh was working his regular night shift on November 30, 1987, when he heard people breaking into the shop around 1:00 a.m. Singh called the company president.

"They're stealing equipment. (Singh) recognized one of the two males as an employee there," said Detective Kenneth Bivens with Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

Singh didn't tell his boss the name of the man he recognized. He didn't describe the man either. The boss told Singh, who was unarmed, to lock up and they'd discuss it in the morning.

"He lived upstairs at the business," Bivens said.

When workers showed up the next morning, Singh was on the floor moaning and close to death. He had been stabbed five times. His skull was bashed in.

"The employees asked him, trying to get him to talk and he couldn't talk," Bivens said.

Singh died before the paramedics arrived.

Dive into an interactive experience that tells the story of unsolved murder cases in the Houston area through videos, pictures and first-hand accounts of the families and detectives trying to solve them.

The 33-year-old was still wearing his watch and had his wallet. But when detectives took inventory of the shop, they discovered a valuable piece of equipment was missing.

A rare, expensive scientific scale, used to measure chemicals, was gone. The scale was worth about $1,800 at the time.

Investigators would later learn it had been stolen, then tracked down months before Singh's murder. Years later, Erickson Armstrong, a former shop employee, was charged with stealing and pawning the scale before Singh was killed.

"(Armstrong) stole it, it was recovered by one of our deputies in '87 and then that's what was stolen again," Bivens said.

Armstrong died four years ago. Detective Terrance Greenwood interviewed Armstrong several times before his death. Greenwood spoke with many of the 15 shop workers. Some of them are still considered "persons of interest."

The scale was never tracked down. Investigators think finding it could be the key to finding the killer.

In 2007, detectives thought they had a break in the case. A hair that had been found in Singh's hand and was thought to belong to the killer, was resubmitted to a crime lab for DNA testing. But it turned out, the hair had been mislabeled. It was actually Singh's own hair.

That setback frustrated detectives, but they're still hopeful they'll find the murderer.

"I think it's solvable. I think they all are," Greenwood said.

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Detectives are making a last call for help as they work to solve the murder of Jasbir Singh, who was stabbed to death 31 years ago.

Related Topics:
stabbingcold casemurderMontgomery County
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