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Three years later, questions still linger in Kyle double homicide

Former Kyle resident Rebecca Lujan remembers vividly the last conversation she had with her longtime friend Jimmy Wright.

The talk they had in late June 2015 centered on a planned motorcycle excursion Lujan, Wright and her husband at the time were preparing for. The conversation soon shifted to an unexpected love interest Wright had brought up, and how his plans to meet her that night could affect the trip.

“Jimmy said, ‘No, no. She is cool’ and told me about her,” Lujan said.

But Lujan and her ex-husband never saw Wright alive again. Both were deeply impacted by news of the murders of Wright and Tina Combs, which as of this month, will have remained unsolved for a third straight year.

Now Lujan, as well as many family members of Wright and Combs, are striving to get answers to one of the longest unsolved murder cases in Kyle’s history. It comes as officials continue to withhold information on an investigation that family members believe has gone cold.

Few, if any, details from authorities

Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said the department is unable to share details of its investigation into the Combs and Wright double homicide, or progress that’s being made, as it could “jeopardize prosecution.”

Barnett would not elaborate further on what prosecution could transpire, nor could he disclose whether the department has a person of interest at this time.

Barnett also said he could not disclose which entities are currently involved in the investigations into the case.

Kyle Police began its investigation after the discovery of Combs’ and Wright’s bodies during a welfare visit on a residence along Sledge Street in mid-June 2015.

In late 2015, an autopsy report ruled the deaths of Combs and Wright as a homcide. The cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound.

In 2017, the Hays Free Press reported authorities were waiting for evidence collected at the scene to come back from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) analysis lab for DNA testing. Results from those tests were not disclosed.

Barnett said the department would continue to investigate the case until it has enough information to present to the District Attorney’s office.

“We would never want to jeopardize the case or justice the family deserves,” Barnett said. “The reason for the lack of information is to preserve the integrity of the investigation and avoiding information that could interfere with an eventual prosecution, which we believe will still happen.”

Barnett said the case “continues to remain a priority for our department” and that authorities occasionally speak with family members on a monthly basis.

“It affects us, too, that we can’t release information to the family or to the public,” Barnett said.

Family frustrations

But family and friends of Combs and Wright maintain the department isn’t keeping them in the loop and has not kept communication open.

Kriste Upton, a cousin of Combs who graduated in the same class as Wright in Indiana, believes miscues have taken place, and the department is unable to conduct its investigation.

She also believes the department has been “unprofessional” and “rude” in how they are treating the families.

Upton said she doesn’t believe the case will get solved “because they (police) screwed it up.”

“They are either too stupid to solve it or they botched the crime scene,” Upton said. “They couldn’t solve it even if they got $1 million…that’s my gut and I’m sticking to it.”

Lujan said she tries to keep in touch with Rachel McPherson, a relative of Wright, who told her Kyle Police has not returned her calls.

The entire situation, however, is mind-boggling for Lujan, who remembered Wright as a person who’d “take the shirt off his back for anyone.” Lujan said she felt speaking with Wright about her own personal issues was almost therapeutic.

“It still floors me because I don’t see how anyone would do that to Jimmy,” Lujan said.

Upton said, that despite her cousin’s troubled past, she felt Combs was a “lost soul” who had “a lot of demons, but was “one of the kindest hearted people you ever met.”

“She was beautiful inside and out. She was golden,” Upton said.

Kyle Police continue to ask anyone who might have information regarding this case to call them at 512-268-3232.

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