Convicted Rapist Indicted In 1997 Murders Of Two Texas Girls

An already convicted rapist, William Lewis Reece, 57, serving a 60-year prison sentence in Texas for kidnapping and killing a 19-year-old woman, Tiffany Johnston, in Oklahoma was indicted Thursday in the slayings of two Texas girls, according to the Daily Mail.

On April 20, 1997, 12-year-old Laura Smither went missing after going for a jog off Moore Ranch Road.

Just 17 days later, her body – clad in only socks – was discovered in a retention pond 12 miles from her home in Pasadena.

Police officials named Reece as the prime suspect in the murder case because he was working on the road where the missing girl was last seen alive.

His boss told investigators that he was sent home early that day due to rain.

Police officials did not charge Reece for the murder.

However, Reece was constantly questioned by police until 1999 when he got a judge to restrict officers from interviewing him again without his permission.

“Hey, look. Enough is enough. Either file the (expletive) murder charges or get off me,” Reece said.

When Smither’s mother, Gay Smither, learned that her missing pre-teen daughter was found dead, she made some heart-tugging comments.

“Our prayers weren’t answered the way we wanted, but our prayers were answered. Prayer does work. We may not like the answer we get.”

“We’re just so grateful for the answers that were given to two families who have been living in a state of limbo and have lost all of these years,” she added.

“So many families spent year after year looking for their children with no answers at all. When Jessica Cain and Kelli Cox were found, there’s no words to describe what that meant to Bob and I because we realized early on that as bad as our outcome was, those families walked a much, much harder road than we were walking.”

Gay also told reporters that she found some comfort in knowing that he had been locked away for many years before confessing to killing the young girl and dumping her lifeless body in a retention pond.

She said that she has already forgiven him and wants him to know that he still has a chance to change his life, even behind prison bars.

Three months after the girl’s death on August 17, 1997, 17-year-old Jessica Cain of Tiki Island, who was a senior at a Catholic preparatory school, went missing.

Cain attended a high school musical cast party at a Clear Lake restaurant and was on her way home, but never made it.

Investigators say her truck was discovered on the shoulder of I-45, with her purse locked inside.

From behind prison bars, Reece led investigators to the body of Cain and Keli Cox, a 20-year-old University of North Texas student and mother who went missing in 1997.

Reece began cooperating with police, confessing to the murders and where to locate their bodies in hopes of avoiding the death penalty.

Cain’s remains were found on Interstate 45 near Tiki Island, a community across from Galveston Island.

Cox’ remains were located in Brazoria County in April of this year.

According to Click 2 Houston, Reece’s health is in poor condition and most likely won’t survive long enough to be put to death.

Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady said, “Without the work by everyone involved, what happened to Laura Smither, Kelli Cox, and Jessica Cain would have forever remained a mystery. Now we have answers.”

In an Oklahoma courtroom, Reece was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of two Texas girls.

Reece remains in Oklahoma County jail without a bond and is set to make another court appearance in October.

He still has not been charged for Smither’s murder.

[Image via iStock Photo]

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