It's been 19 years since Annette McMullen and her family's nightmare began.

McMullen's 47-year-old mother, Linda Viramontes, was found stabbed to death in her home in rural Smith County the day before Thanksgiving 1994.

Though the case has been examined over and over by Smith County Sheriff's detectives, along with the Texas Ranger Cold Case Squad, there have been no developments leading to an arrest or conviction.

Mrs. McMullen said the case has been hard on her and her family, and she hopes the day will come when her mother's killer will face justice.

When Ms. Viramontes did not show up for her job at a Big Sandy liquor store on the day before Thanksgiving in 1994, a co-worker checked on her at her house on County Road 356.

The woman found the bloodied body of Ms. Viramontes face down in the doorway between the living room and kitchen.

Nearby was a broken glass table, and the telephone line had been cut. There were no signs of forced entry.

But no viable suspects have been developed.

Sheriff Larry Smith said the case is still open, and investigator David Turner is working it.

"There have been a lot of people checked out over the years, and we continue to work the case, but we have not made any breakthroughs at this time," he said.

Smith said Mrs. McMullen calls detectives often to offer suggestions for possible suspects.

"She calls often, but I would do the same thing if the victim was my mother. We do hope to solve this case," he said.

Smith said the Viramontes homicide is one of 24 that remain unsolved in the county.

"We want to solve all of them. Some are recent, but others go back decades. Every one is important and that is why they remain open," he said.

Anyone with information on the case or any other can call Crimestoppers at 903-597-2833 or Detective David Turner with the Smith County Sheriff's Office at 903-566-6600.





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