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News Release

September 18, 2017

DPS Offers Increased Reward, Seeks Leads in 1988 Jones County Murder

Cortney Clayton
Cortney Clayton (deceased)

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is asking for the public's help in solving the 1988 murder of Cortney Clayton, and an increased reward of up to $6,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible if the tip is received before next month's featured case is announced. (All cases on the Texas Rangers' Unsolved Homicides website routinely offer a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.)

On September 2, 1988, 7-year-old Cortney Clayton was abducted from near her home in Stamford, approximately 40 miles north of Abilene. The young girl was last seen when she walked to a small store, about a block from her home, to buy a soft drink. Despite an immediate and extensive search, the second grader's remains were not discovered until March 26, 1989, by a hunter in Shackelford County, about 50 miles away near the small town of Moran. She was identified by the hair from a hairbrush her parents had kept. She is survived by her parents and two brothers.

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 75 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 at: http://www.dps.texas.gov/TexasRangers/UnsolvedHomicides/index.htm.

As part of a DPS public awareness program, one case from the Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation (Cold Case) Program is featured each month 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.

### (HQ 2017-103)