Then, in the first week of June of this year, Paiz’s family got an anonymous note in their mailbox listing names of people responsible for the murder and kidnapping, according to Corpus Christi Police Officer and Corpus Christi Crime Stoppers Coordinator Kirk Stowers.
The note was not mailed, it was placed inside the family’s mailbox, so there was no return address or name attached.
“The detective who is working on the case here is convinced that the person who wrote the note has legitimate information,” Stowers said. “But he needs more information.”
CCPD cold case detective R.L. Garcia is currently investigating the case, and it will be featured as Crime of the Week in an attempt to garner further information.
“The cold case is heating up,” Stowers said.
With the investigation rekindled, Crime Stoppers is stoking the flames by providing a $1,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the capture of Paiz’s killer. Stowers said Crime Stoppers guarantees identities will be kept secret for those who provide information.
“It happens, but I wouldn’t say the odds are great,” Live Oak County Sheriff Larry Busby said when asked what the chances are of the murder being solved. “The older they get the more difficult it is. Anything we get we’ll look into it.”
Investigators already know that Paiz, 47 at the time, was robbed and kidnapped at the Gulf Service Station where he worked as an attendant at the intersection of Kostoryz Road and South Padre Island Drive in Corpus Christi on July 30, 1984. He was reported missing at 3:14 a.m. and had been seen about an hour earlier.
Busby said it’s believed those who committed the kidnapping didn’t have a motive.
Live Oak County Sheriff’s Department received a call at 4:32 a.m. from a passerby claiming to have been parked at the Wagon Wheel when he heard two gunshots. When the informant followed the sound, he found Paiz’s corpse on the shoulder of Highway 59 about one-quarter mile east of Interstate 37.
“I wasn’t here when it happened; I’ve been sheriff since 1981, and I took three-and-a-half days vacation in 1984, and that’s the last time I took a vacation,” Busby said.
Busby said the person who heard the shots thought it was someone shooting a tree or a deer.
Responding officers found Paiz dead at the scene with shotgun wounds in the upper body and head at what were believed to be point-blank range.
J.P. Jimmy Jones sent the body to Memorial Medical Center in Corpus Christi for an autopsy.
Investigation later revealed that it was possible that a dark green older model Dodge pickup with its left headlight out and possibly with a headache rack was involved. Busby said the truck was seen at the intersection at that time, but investigators were unable to locate a vehicle fitting the description.
“Everything dead-ended on us; we worked on it for probably six months to a year,” Busby said. “It’s never totally forgotten, but when you pursue every avenue you got, you put it on the back burner.”
Because the kidnapping happened in Corpus Christi and the murder happened in George West, it’s under jurisdiction of both areas, according to Busby.
“We just couldn’t find anything,” he said. “The trouble was the murder occurred here, but all the answers were in Corpus Christi. That’s where he was abducted, and that’s likely where the assailants were from; but they drove here and did their deed.”
Anyone with further information regarding the murder of Paiz is encouraged to contact Garcia or Crime Stoppers at 361-888-8477 or at www.888tips.com.