APD closes Esme Barrera murder case

APD closes Esme Barrera murder case

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Thursday the Austin Police Department officially closed the murder case of Esme Barrera. She was killed inside her home last New Year's Day.

Chief Art Acevedo confirmed that the person who killed Esme Barrera was in fact the person they'd suspected all along, 25-year-old James Loren Brown, Jr. He is now deceased as he took his own life days after Barrera was found dead.

Chief Art Acevedo held a news conference Thursday afternoon to say the case was closed and reveal the evidence that lead to their decision that Brown was in fact the killer.

Detectives revealed that on the morning of January 1, when they responded to Barrera's house in the 3100 block of King Street, they found a bloody shoe print. Acevedo called that the smoking gun.

After first responders were eliminated, detectives traced the shoe and learned it was an ECCO brand size 13/13.5. Officers went through Brown's financial records and found he'd purchased that same size and brand of shoe in 2010.

In addition, Brown was tied to two other attacks on women in the same neighborhood before and after Barrera was killed.

They traced the times Brown used his electronic key card to get inside his apartment complex off 30th and Guadalupe St. Detectives say he used it three times within minutes of each crime.

"At least for this department, the District Attorney's Office and the community, we consider this case closed and we're confident the person who took her life is the person who was initially identified as a suspect and the evidence shows the person who could reasonably be the suspect who took her life was Mr. Brown," Chief Acevedo said.

The lead detective on the case travelled to El Paso to share the findings with Barrera's family Wednesday.

Brown was also connected to four other assaults on women that occurred July through September of 2011 in south Austin. Those cases are also closed.

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