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Parents remember Jones County 7-year-old 30 years after murder, crime remains unsolved

STAMFORD, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - Stan and Candace Clayton will never forget September 2, 1988 - the last day they saw their 7-year-old daughter Cortney alive. 

She went to the corner store down the street from their home in Stamford to get a coke after the second day of school and disappeared without a trace, leaving only a cup behind. 

The Claytons told KTAB news that in the following months, they responded to every tip police received about Cortney's possible location until one day in March, their worst fears were made true.

A hunter found a child's remains on a country road between Albany and Moran, and testing confirmed they belonged to Cortney. 

"It's like they didn't care about [her] life. They disposed the body as if it was a bag of trash. That's what breaks our heart," Stan Clayton said. 

People from around the Big Country continue to call in tips and clues regarding Cortney's death decades after the case went cold, but her parents are urging anyone with information to please leave a tip for the Texas Rangers instead of contacting them.

Cortney remains one of the Texas Rangers' featured cold cases, and a $3,000 cash reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest of the person responsible.

Anyone who wishes to leave an anonymous tip can do so here.

When asked if they had anything to say to Cortney's killer, the Clayton's responded they,"just want to know why he thought he had the right to do what he did. God gave her to us - he had no right to take her."


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