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TCSO Seeks to Breathe New Life into Cold Cases Via Web and Video – MEDIA BRIEFING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 27, 2023

TCSO Seeks to Breathe New Life into Cold Cases Via Web and Video – MEDIA BRIEFING

TCSO officially launched a new landing page dedicated to cold cases. Providing a place where the permanent information can live, the agency hopes to reach people who can help solve these decades-old mysteries.

The new page, located on the TCSO website, sorts the cases into the four decades in which the investigations were launched – the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. There is also a subcategory for “Unidentified,” meaning the victim’s identity remains unknown. The categories also include photos of each victim with a description of each case.

“While these cases may have gone cold, the Cold Case Unit’s mission to solve them has not,” said Sheriff Sally Hernandez. “We feel deep compassion for the loved ones of these victims. Some of them have gone most of their lives without answers and without justice. We hope this will jog memories and bring information forward.”

The new landing page will periodically feature specific cases as part of a series of video vignettes that will dive into the specifics. The videos will not only be showcased on the website, but they will also be posted across TCSO’s social media.

The web page is debuting the first video vignette, the 1982 case of Ruth Elizabeth Bettis, a 19-year-old dancer and pianist who was found dead in a pasture off Sprinkle Cutoff Road in northeast Austin. After following countless leads and witness statements, the person, or persons, responsible for her murder remain unidentified.

“We are still in contact with Ruth’s mother to this day and, like her, we want answers,” said Det. Javier Hernandez with the Cold Case Unit. “We hope that someone out there still has that missing piece of the puzzle, that they will see this video and share that information with us. No detail, no matter how small you think it may be, is insignificant.”

If you have any information on a TCSO cold case, you can:
Submit a tip online Submit a tip online (anonymous option)
• Call and/or leave an anonymous tip to the TCSO Tip Line at 512-854-1444 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477
• Email the Cold Case Unit at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TCSO will host an opportunity for media to ask questions about the Cold Case effort and the Ruth Bettis case.

10:30 am - Thursday, September 27, 2023

5555 Airport Blvd (If visitor parking is full, please park at 5501 Airport Blvd.)

Speakers: Sheriff Sally Hernandez and Detective Javier Hernandez

Submitted By:
Kristen Dark, Sr. Public Information Officer (512) 854-4986
Drew Knight, Public Information Specialist (512) 854-8426.

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