FORT WORTH, Texas — The letter is 45 years old. So is the unsolved kidnapping and murder of a Fort Worth teenager. Now police and the family of Carla Walker hope the author or someone who knows them can finally provide the answers they’ve been seeking all these years.
"17 years old, 4-foot-1, tiny,” Cindy Stone said, as she held a framed photo of her sister.
Her brother Jim Walker stood next to her holding one of Carla’s petite brightly-colored shirts, one their parents simply couldn’t throw away. They agreed to talk with us in the same Benbrook Highway parking lot where Carla was kidnapped February of 1974. Her body was found in a culvert two days later near Benbrook Lake.
And to our conversation, they also brought hope.
"And that's what we want to do,” Cindy Stone said. “We're not giving up."
Because on Friday, Fort Worth Police released a new piece of evidence from their cold case files. A letter, written anonymously 45 years ago and sent to police. They wrote they “know who killed Carla Walker in Benbrook" and included the post script
"It is hard to say, but it is true," the letter said.
They signed only ones and zeroes for their name. The name of the suspect included by the letter writer is blacked out/redacted because the person was never positively linked to the case.
These 45 years later, police are making it public to see if it finally leads to a clue.
"Somebody is going to recognize this letter, handwriting, the way it's written, the way it's signed,” Jim Walker said.
"So that's the goal here, is for somebody to recognize this letter and give us more information, give us more evidence,” said Fort Worth Police officer Ivan Gomez.
"Who was this person, what did they know and why were we never made aware of it,” Stone said.
Carla Walker was still in her prom dress when she was abducted, killed, and her body dumped in a storm culvert not far from her home. Her baby brother and her sister have always lived with the horrible memories. But have always promised to keep searching for answers.
"I just feel like I shouldn't be sitting here having a life,” Stone said. “And that it's important that we keep working to find out who did this to her."
"And there will be a lot of healing that will go on because of this, in our community. So, do the right thing please,” pleaded her brother Jim Walker.
The right thing, if someone just recognizes this letter and recognizes the need for a 45-year-old mystery to come to an end.
Anyone with information about the case or this letter is asked to call Fort Worth police at 817-392-4307.