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Man charged in 2011 cold-case murder

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Elizabeth Escobar Elizabeth Escobar

A violent crime in Hays County reveals the missing piece to a two year old cold-case murder in Travis County.

"It's so upsetting that people like this can just walk the streets and they can just do this," said Trish Rivera.

She says nothing will bring back her cousin, Elizabeth Escobar.

"It's sad. It's sad," Rivera added.

In July, 2011, the 24-year-old's remains were found in a brush fire off Springdale Road.

"Justice is going to be served and I thank God that girl lived," Shyra Sauls.

Shyra Sauls is talking about 47 year-old Willie Griffin being charged with her best friend's murder and another case in Hays County where the victim survived.

"For a year I believed it was him and we were looking for that little piece of forensic evidence. The way the crime scene was set up, with the fire, there was very little forensic evidence," said Travis County Sheriff Detective Alan Howard.

Detectives say the "True Living" brand of lighter fluid is just one of several similarities between the cases.

"The girls were picked up within about three miles from each other...both walking down the street...they both were stabbed multiple times in the chest, both sexually assaulted, both left for dead," Howard said.

Investigators say Griffin also came back to both scenes to set the women on fire.

DNA evidence found at the scene in Travis County is what's allowing investigators to give Escobar's loved ones, like her father, Alan Scarborough, and her two sons, some closure.

Scarborough said, "Your mother loved you and I know as she fought for her life, she was fighting desperately to ya'll too...She had more love for you than you will ever know. It broke her heart to leave you guys." 

Griffin has been in the Hays County Jail since May, indicted for the aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and attempted murder of a 17-year-old girl.

"I mean, it's good he's in jail, but..."It's just so sad how it happened," Rivera said.

Detectives say this case will always stay with them because it could have happened to any of the women in our lives that we love.

A grand jury indicted Willie Griffin for the Hays County attack. His bond was set at $900,000.

With the new murder charge, he's facing an additional $500,000.

Investigators say they're looking into other possible cases Griffin may be linked to.

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