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Texas DPS is looking for leads on 1981 unsolved homicide in Ector County

Eighteen-year-old Carmen Croan was last seen alive at Graham's Night Club in Odessa in August 1981. Her body was found the following day on an oilfield lease.
Credit: Texas Department of Public Safety

ECTOR COUNTY, Texas — The Texas Department of Public Safety is seeking leads in the 1981 homicide of 18-year-old Carmen Croan. An increased reward of up to $6,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible, if the tip is received before the next Texas Rangers’ featured cold case is announced.

A $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest is routinely offered on all cases on the Texas Rangers Unsolved Homicides website.

On the evening of Aug. 22, 1981, Croan went to Graham’s Night Club in Odessa. The following day, her body was found on an oilfield lease, 12 miles north of TX 158 and FM 1936 in Ector County.

According to a forensic examination, Croan was viciously attacked and had knife wounds to her throat. This brutal homicide remains unsolved, and the Texas Rangers are asking for the public’s help to solve Croan’s murder.

To be eligible for the cash rewards, tipsters are required to provide information to authorities by calling the Crime Stoppers hotline at 800-252-8477. All tips are anonymous.

Individuals also can submit information through the Texas Ranger cold case website or by contacting the DPS Missing Persons Hotline at 800-346-3243.

The DPS Texas Rangers Unsolved Homicides website provides information on more than 125 cases in an effort to help garner public interest in unsolved or “cold cases.” Texas Crime Stoppers offers rewards (funded by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division and administered by DPS) of up to $3,000 for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for any Rangers cold case listed on the website.

For more information, visit the Texas Ranger cold case website.

As part of a DPS public awareness program, one case from the Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation (Cold Case) Program will be featured bi-monthly in an effort to generate new investigative leads and bring attention to these cold cases. The Texas Crime Stoppers reward is increased up to $6,000 for the featured case in hopes that the higher reward money will generate additional tips. The higher reward amount will only be paid if the tip is submitted before the next case is featured.

The Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program was created to assist Texas law enforcement agencies investigating unsolved murders or violent serial crimes. Since there is no statute of limitations for the offense of murder, investigators pursue these cases to a successful resolution or until no viable leads remain.

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