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DPS Seeks Information In 2004 Cold Case

Just Days After the 15th Anniversary, DPS Seeks Information in 2004 Cold Case

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is seeking leads in the 2004 murder of Katara Deboise Johnson. An increased reward of $6,000 is offered for information that leads to the arrest of the person or people responsible. The tip has to be received before next month’s featured Texas Rangers cold case is announced. (A $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest is routinely offered on all of the Texas Rangers’ Unsolved Homicides website.) 

On Aug. 25, 2004, Johnson, 21, was working a late shift at a Taco Bell in Taylor. After work, she drove to her home on North Dolan Street in Taylor. The following day, Johnson was found fatally shot inside her house. Her red Mitsubishi Lancer had been stolen and was later located at the Thorndale Community Pool. 

Johnson was a vibrant, young woman who — just before her death — had hosted a gathering at the Taylor Community Center. 

The Texas Rangers are investigating this case in conjunction with the Williamson Co. Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit and the Taylor Police Department. We are seeking the public’s help to solve this brutal crime. The agency is asking for the public’s aid for any information that will lead to evidence or any information that will help solve the crime. 

To be eligible for the cash rewards, tipsters must provide information to authorities by calling the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477). All tips are anonymous. 

Individuals also can submit information through the Texas Ranger cold case website or by contacting us at 1-800-346-3243 (DPS Missing Persons Hotline). 

The DPS Texas Rangers Unsolved Homicides website provides information on more than 125 cases to help garner public interest in unsolved or “cold cases.” The Governor’s Criminal Justice Division funds up to $3,000 for “cold cases.” The DPS administers that money for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible. 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 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 example in hopes that the higher reward money will generate additional tips. The higher reward amount will only be paid if the advice 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.