AUSTIN, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) wants to remind the public and seeks help in solving the 2004 murder of Katara Deboise Johnson, and an increased reward of up to $6,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the person or people responsible if the tip is received before next month’s featured Texas Rangers cold case is announced. (A $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest is routinely offered on all cases on the Texas Rangers Unsolved Homicides website.)
On Aug. 25, 2004, Johnson, 21, was working a late shift at a Taco Bell in Taylor. After work, she drove to her home on North Dolan Street in Taylor. The following day, Johnson was found fatally shot inside her home. Her red Mitsubishi Lancer had been stolen and was later located at the Thorndale Community Pool.
Johnson was a vibrant, young woman who — just prior to her death — had hosted a gathering at the Taylor Community Center.
The Texas Rangers are investigating this case in conjunction with the Williamson Co. Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit and the Taylor Police Department, and we are seeking the public’s help to solve this brutal crime. The agency is asking for the public’s help for any information that will lead to evidence or any information that will help solve the crime.
To be eligible for the cash rewards, tipsters must provide information to authorities by calling the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477). All tips are anonymous.
Individuals also can submit information through the Texas Ranger cold case website or by contacting us at 1-800-346-3243 (DPS Missing Persons Hotline).
The DPS Texas Rangers Unsolved Homicides website provides information on more than 125 cases in an effort to help garner public interest in unsolved or “cold cases.” Texas Crime Stoppers offers rewards (funded by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division and administered by DPS) of up to $3,000 for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for any Rangers cold case listed on the website. For more information, visit the Texas Ranger cold case website.
As part of a DPS public awareness program, one case from the Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation (Cold Case) Program will be featured bi-monthly in an effort to generate new investigative leads and bring attention to these cold cases. The Texas Crime Stoppers reward is increased up to $6,000 for the featured case in hopes that the higher reward money will generate additional tips. The higher reward amount will only be paid if the tip is submitted before the next case is featured.
The Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program was created to assist Texas law enforcement agencies investigating unsolved murders or violent serial crimes. Since there is no statute of limitations for the offense of murder, investigators pursue these cases to a successful resolution or until no viable leads remain.