Man Indicted for 1989 Murder of Odessa Teen

Man Indicted for 1989 Murder of Odessa Teen

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - New details have been released in a 26-year-old cold case.

Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland tells NewsWest9 Thompson Ward Stricklen, 52, was indicted on Monday, October 12, for the 1989 murder of Wendy Burdette.

He was also indicted on two counts of sexual assault stemming from the same incident.

In February 1989, Odessa police responded to a body that was found behind Permian Metals on West 2nd Street.

That's where they found 15-year-old Wendy Burdette dead. She had been beaten and her throat was cut.

It wasn't until 26 years later, in February 2015, that police finally got a break.

A sex offender report sent to Odessa Police by Department of Public Safety that said they had a DNA match.

The DNA had been collected during Burdette's autopsy, and DPS said they finally had a potential suspect.

In July, DPS confirmed the sample was Stricklen's DNA and it was matched to the 1989 case.