By Moses Leos III
Rachael McPherson remembers Jimmy Wright as a person whom she always knew as a fun uncle, or “funcle.”
With a “live life to the fullest” mentality, Wright would do anything for anybody, no matter what their past was or what had happened, McPherson said.
“He’d give you his shirt off of his back,” McPherson said. “If it was his last dime, he’d give it to you.”
But with passage of the one-year anniversary of Wright’s and Tina Combs’ unsolved murder, McPherson and many other family members are concerned their case is on the “back burner.” Kyle Police, however, maintain the case is on the top of their priority list.
“It’s upsetting knowing that whoever did this is walking free, doing whatever they want and not facing the consequences of their actions,” McPherson said. “It’s kind of sitting and waiting in the longest waiting game ever.”
Kyle Police Department Chief Jeff Barnett said the investigation into the double homicide is an active for the department. He said all of the department’s investigators are involved, with an additional member of the department’s community services division reassigned to the case.
Barnett said the case is the “highest priority within our department” and that officers meet regularly to discuss the case and prioritize leads.
The Texas Rangers, which have helped in the investigation since it began, continue to be a part of the case.
While Barnett couldn’t comment on specifics, he said an enormous amount of evidence was collected from the home on Sledge Street and was sent to the Department of Public Safety crime lab. He said he expects reports on the evidence “soon.”
“We’re not just waiting for that, but it’s a major component,” Barnett said. “We still follow leads, still interview people from time to time and re-interview them.”
Barnett said the department continues to remain in contact with families of the victims and discusses as much information as it become available.
“We tell them we’re working on this investigation,” Barnett said. “The victims are not forgotten.”
But McPherson said Kyle Police has not been “very talkative.” She said detectives are unable to tell them much information, as they “don’t want to jeopardize their investigation.”
But with the lack of information going to family members, McPherson fears the case could soon become cold.
“I get they don’t want to jeopardize their case. I get that. But we’re 1,700 miles away,” McPherson said. “We can’t do a whole lot. We can’t beat down their door and demand questions.”
Barnett said with the lack of a direct witness to the murders, or a confession or physical evidence to implicate someone, the department has to obtain a “level of information that would give us probable cause to make an arrest.”
He said the department is attempting to follow the rules and standards “that are expected of a professional law enforcement agency.”
“We don’t want to misstep and in any way jeopardize a proper prosecution,” Barnett said.
While the first few hours of an investigation are “vital,” Barnett said the fact that a case isn’t solved within the first 48-hours “doesn’t indicate it won’t be solved.”
“We will conduct all investigative efforts to make sure we get it solved,” Barnett said. “It’s important to me to get it solved. Their families deserve it.”