As the whole world now knows, on Saturday morning, 19-year-old Mollie Olgin and 18-year-old Mary Kristene Chapa were found shot in a Portland park at the edge of Corpus Christi Bay. Olgin died. Chapa is in stable condition. Both had been shot in the head with a large-caliber handgun.
Two days after that, 16-year-old Aransas Pass motel housekeeper Jenna Hernandez walked out of her sister's house, saying she needed to make a phone call. That was the last anyone saw her alive.
Yesterday, on Stedman Island in Redfish Bay, 15 miles up Highway 35 and a short skip east on Highway 361 from where Olgin and Chapa were discovered, a fisherman found Hernandez's body at the water's edge. According to KRISTV.com, Aransas Pass police say she was likely murdered.
If that proves to be the case, that would make three teenaged Hispanic girls shot and/or murdered in a 20-mile radius, in an area of relatively low violent crime.
Commenters on various Coastal Bend news sources are already speculating that a serial killer could be on the loose.
"I would bet these are connected," said one. "We just dont have murders down here - little too strange they are happening in one week."
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Police will likely try to tamp down those fears until it becomes plain to them that it is indeed the case. Indeed, when asked about that awful scenario, Aransas Pass police chief Eric Blanchard said that he believes he is investigating an isolated killing. He says his officers have been looking at several people of interest ever since Hernandez vanished, and he says they will further question those people soon.
Hair Balls has a call in to Portland police chief Randy Wright, who has evidently been swamped with calls about the Olgin/Chapa shooting. Those interested in that case are directed specifically to the city's Web site, where his statements are available.
Our call was not about that case per se, but what he thought about the Hernandez investigation. We will let you know when and if he gets back to us.