Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Busy Lab Means Long Wait for Answers in Shooting of Teen Couple

Mary Kristene Chapa, left. Mollie Olgin, right. Handout photo.

It’s been nearly three months since two teenage girls were shot at Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Tex. Mollie Olgin, 19, died at the scene; her girlfriend, 18-year-old Mary Kristene Chapa survived and helped police develop a sketch of the shooter. Since the sketch was released, police have received an influx of leads. KRISTV reports police have taken mouth swabs from all persons of interest without an alibi. Now, it’s time to wait. The swabs have been sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety forensics lab in Austin for processing, along with DNA evidence from the scene of the shooting. The lab won’t release results until all of the samples are processed, and though the case is high-priority, it’s not at the top of the lab’s heavy stack of items to process.

Sketch of the suspect, made with help from Chapa.

Shortly after the shooting, Portland Police Chief Randy Wright told MSNBC that no motive for the attack had been established. Since then, police have not released any information to indicate that this has changed. A bullet casing from a large-caliber gun was found at the scene, Wright said, but no weapon has been recovered.  “If we had a name, you know, we’d be having a different conversation right now. But we have not been able to gather enough information to identify a suspect yet,” said Wright in June, “It appears as if … this was not just a random attack but that’s something that we really have to develop over time.”  However, Wright added, there is currently nothing to indicate that the attack was a hate crime: “Information from family and friends indicates that Mollie and Mary were engaged in a same-sex relationship. However, there is no current evidence to indicate the attacks were motivated by that relationship.” According to friends and family members, Olgin and Chapa had been together since February, and their relationship was generally accepted by those around them.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is encouraged to call the Portland Police Department at 777-4444.

See Also: The DNA Revolution

 

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