After more than three decades, Austin police are reopening a murder cold case. They hope to get more information about who gunned down an Air Force pilot in front of his own home.
Who killed Janis John Rubenis?
Austin police are taking another look at the decades old mystery, re-interviewing witnesses, retesting what little forensic evidence they have even though nearly 36 years have passed.
"Patrol officers in southeast Austin received a call man down on Oct 28, 1977 approximately 7:45 in the morning. When they arrived at the apartment complex at 10:12 Grove Blvd, they found a male laying in the courtyard of his apartment with a single gunshot wound," said APD Detective Jeff Gabler.
On the morning of October 28, 1977, police say the Air Force captain was leaving for work at the old Bergstrom Air Force base, where the airport is now.
Rubenis lived at an apartment complex where the current ACC campus is on Grove Blvd in east Austin.
Detective Gabler says Rubenis was confronted by someone and shot just outside his apartment.
"It appears to be a robbery gone bad," Gabler said.
Gabler says this case has extra roadblocks.
"Some of the main investigators were later on in their years, 30s, 40s, 50s and unfortunately they've passed along too and with them go any gut feelings they might have had, any suspicions they might have had that aren't in this case file," he said.
Gabler showed FOX 7 some of Rubenis's personal items including his dog tags and car keys. He says Rubenis was a very detailed and neat person, as seen in his daily journal. Every meeting was recorded. He was also a decorated Air Force pilot who flew in Vietnam. His service to our country is one reason Gabler wants this case solved.
"We're asking anyone who remembers this case, who may have seen anything, heard anything days, weeks, months following," Gabler said.
Rubenis wasn't married and didn't have any kids. His father died not knowing who killed his son.
If you have any information, please call APD's missing persons cold case unit at 974-5250.