Two years later: Questions, frustrations linger in unsolved Sledge Street murders

Every day for the past two years, Indiana resident Rachael McPherson and her family have anxiously waited by their phones.

They do so with the hope that the person on the other end of the line could give them the answers they seek.

It’s been over two years since the bodies of Jimmy Wright, McPherson’s uncle, and Tina Combs were found in a home in the 800 block of Sledge Street in southwest Kyle. Since then, McPherson and others have tried to piece together exactly happened to Wright and Combs that night on Sledge Street in June 2015.

Even as the investigation into Wright and Combs’ murder continues into its second year, few answers have been given into one of the more mysterious cases in Kyle’s history.

Grief, however, now turns to frustration for those close to Combs and Wright, who fear the case could be getting cold.

“It boggles my mind. They took 200 pieces of evidence and sent it to the crime lab…and in 2 years, you’ve got nothing back? It’s weird, it’s strange,” McPherson said.

The investigation

Jeff Barnett, Kyle Police Department chief, said there is “nothing else to release” as far as new information in the unsolved double homicide.

Kyle Police discovered the bodies of Wright and Combs in a home on Sledge Street following a welfare call in June 2015.

Autopsy reports ruled each death as a homicide, with the cause of death determined to be a gunshot wound. 

Barnett said most of the evidence collected at the crime scene is in the “final stages of analysis at the lab.”

The Hays Free Press reported in July 2016 evidence collected at the scene was sent to the Department of Public Safety crime lab for DNA testing.

However, Barnett did not specify which items were in the final stages of analysis, nor did he say if the findings of the analysis would be made public.

Authorities have not made any arrests in the case, and it’s unknown at this time if there are any persons of interest.

Barnett said the case is still under investigation, with Kyle Police obtaining assistance from several law enforcement agencies, including the Texas Rangers. The case is the only unsolved murder during Barnett’s tenure, which began in 2011.

“Not a day goes by where we don’t think about (the case) or take steps on the case,” Barnett said.

He added authorities remain in contact with the family.

However, Barnett said the unsolved murder has not reached the point of a cold case. The department still has a few more tips to follow up on that have come in, he said.

“Although we can’t release a lot to them either, we stay in contact and let them know the case is not forgotten,” Barnett said.

Rising frustration

But McPherson claims Kyle Police still haven’t been as communicative with the families of the deceased, even two years after the murder.

McPherson said the last time Kyle Police told the family anything was “in at least a year, if not longer.”

She claimed the last time police contacted the family was to obtain a list of Wright’s employers.

“They don’t return phone calls and I call once a week,” McPherson said.

Frustration is now mounting for Wright’s relatives, along with those who were close to Combs, McPherson said.

Some of Wright’s friends have traveled to Kyle to physically visit the police department in order to talk with investigators. One of the biggest struggles for Wright’s family is living far beyond Kyle’s borders, McPherson said.

“I didn’t know anyone down there except for a couple of people that I’ve met before,” McPherson said. ‘But other than that, we don’t have anyone down there.”

Police’s ability to close other murder cases has also left the families dismayed.

“There have been other murders. Maybe not like this one, but they’ve found the guy in a day or two,” McPherson said. “And here we are, two years later, and we still don’t have answers and nothing’s back from the crime lab.”

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