On Saturday morning in Portland, Texas, hikers stumbled across the bodies of two girls in tall grass: 19-year-old Mollie Olgin and 18-year-old Mary Chapa, both shot in the head. Chapa was rushed to the hospital, where she's currently in serious but stable condition. Her girlfriend, Mollie, was pronounced dead on scene.
Chuck Smith, Deputy Executive Director of Equality Texas, told Hair Balls he thinks police are doing a good job looking at the hate-crime angle in this case, but the "goals of the hate crime act aren't being achieved across the state."
He said the act isn't uniformly enforced because police lack training and understanding when it comes to hate crimes. In fact, "some jurisdictions don't even have a box on the incident report to flag that it might be motivated by bias."
Police are still looking for clues to identify the attacker, who they think led the girls into the woods down to the beach around midnight before shooting them with a large caliber pistol. "It's marshy down there, and the tall grass didn't allow any identifiable fingerprints," Wright said.
Neighbors say they heard gunshots, and saw a dark car leaving the scene. Police are hoping to learn more from Chapa, who is able to communicate.
UPDATE: Gay rights groups around the county are holding vigils for the two girls, but police chief Randy Wright says "there's no evidence the crime was motivated" by their same-sex relationship.
Update 2: A second Hispanic teen girl was murdered not far away from the Olgin/Chapa site, stirring fears of a serial murder.