48-Year-Old Cold Case Murder of Lubbock Woman Solved Through DNA Testing

48-Year-Old Cold Case Murder of Lubbock Woman Solved Through DNA Testing

The Metropolitan Special Crimes Unit, with the help of multiple law enforcement agencies and DNA testing, has solved the 48-year-old murder of Elizabeth Ann Price. After nearly five decades, it is now known the murder was perpetrated by an individual who was a juvenile at the time.

Lubbock Police were called to the 6200 block of North Cedar Avenue on April 10, 1976, at what was the Lubbock Regional Airport during that time. Upon arrival, officers located Price deceased in the gate house.

Detectives immediately began investigating the scene, which was quite expansive, and interviewing possible suspects and potential witnesses. Investigators also collected and submitted evidence to the Lubbock Department of Public Safety Lab in 1976. However, due to the limited laboratory technology at the time, no tangible leads were developed. Interviews also did not prove to be fruitful.

From 1976 to 1984, more than 260 interviews were interviewed. In 1984, Henry Lee Lucas was charged with Price’s murder after a false confession. However, the charges were dismissed in 1985 once it was discovered he was not responsible for Price’s death.

Throughout the years, the case was transferred to different investigators with the hopes that a new set of eyes, or additional development in technology might uncover something previously unknown. In 2002, evidence was submitted to the Lubbock DPS Lab four separate times with the hopes new DNA technology would lead to a break in the case. However, it did not.

In March of 2021, the Texas Rangers received the SAKI grant, which provided funding to investigate and prosecute cold case sexual assaults. On April 19, 2021, with the funding from the grant, the Texas Rangers suggested to the LPD submit previously untested evidence from Price’s case. Laboratory testing in May 2022, with the help from new technology, located unknown foreign DNA on the newly submitted evidence.

In August 2022, with the funding from the SAKI grant, the DNA was submitted to Bode Technology Group in Lorton, Virginia for genealogical testing. With their advanced technology, Bode was able to isolate the DNA to one family tree. One of the individuals in that family tree was deceased and their DNA was available for comparison. The suspect’s DNA was submitted to the Lubbock DPS Lab and on January 18, 2023 it was determined who was responsible for the vicious and heinous murder of Price. Through further investigation, it was determined the suspect was a stranger to Price.

The Metropolitan Special Crimes Unit expressed gratitude to the Texas Rangers Cold Case team, the Lubbock Department of Public Safety Lab, the Lubbock Police Department’s Forensic Investigations Unit, and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia.

Since the suspect is deceased, no charges will be filed. Due to the suspect’s juvenile status at the time of the crime, the Lubbock Police Department is not able to reveal his identity based on Texas law.