Special Report: Big Lake cold case - part I

Special Report: Big Lake cold case - part I

BIG LAKE, TX (KWES) - A 32-year-old cold case out of Big Lake is heating up.

A woman's body was found on the side of the road in 1984. She wasn't identified until five years later when investigators found a break in the case.

August 8, 1984, that date will forever be embedded in the history of the small community of Big Lake.

It was that night, a driver noticed a woman's body lying in the east bound lane of Highway 67, about five miles out of town.

An initial autopsy determined the woman was hit by a vehicle. There were no skid marks and no signs of broken glass or car parts at the scene.

Big Lake Wildcat archives reveal she was struck in the middle of the eastbound lane, about 33 feet from where her body was found.

A crucial piece of information in the case, former Reagan County Sheriff's Deputy Frank Gonzalez came up with a possible reason as to how this could have happened.

"I came to the conclusion that the body was moved because of the blood spatter on part of her body," Gonzalez said. "It indicated to me somebody had lifted her up and moved her."

Authorities could not ID the body and it was dubbed Jane Doe. Gonzalez began looking through missing persons reports, but none matched the description of the woman.

When the initial autopsy was completed, dental records were not taken, making this case even harder to crack.

Three years later, Gonzalez got a court order to have the body of Jane Doe exhumed which led them to the first break in the case.

"They located a pin inside her leg,"  said Gonzalez. "That pin had a serial number. Once we found that serial number, we got with DPS and they started helping us find the manufacturer of the pin."

As it turns out, the pin was traced back to the Fort Hood area in Killeen. Gonzalez says from there, they came up with a name.

It was 1989 when Jane Doe became Jacqueline Victoria Lambert.

"It was real sad for the family," Gonzalez said. "You could see a relief on them because they finally found her. She had been gone for so long."

As for the person responsible for Jackie's death, Gonzalez said they always had one suspect: The driver of the vehicle who hit her.

He was believed to be somewhere in another state. A lack of resources hampered their efforts.

"At that time, we didn't have the resources to travel to North Carolina to ID or interview the driver," Gonzalez said. "After the years, we came back with some information that he was deceased. That's the last I heard of it."

As time went on with no new information, the case turned cold.

It wasn't until 2013 when Jackie's nephew, Antonio Montjoy found a crucial piece of information: the fact Lambert had been assaulted just months before she was found dead.

Copyright 2016 KWES. All rights reserved.