Texas Rangers Cold Case Investigation Details
REFERENCE NUMBER: 172 - Solved
CITY: College Station
RELATED YEAR: 1981
SUSPECTS: James Otto Earhart
On December 1, 1981, forty-year-old Real Estate Agent Virginia “Ginger” Bradford Freeman was murdered behind a rural vacant residence in Brazos County, which she was showing a potential buyer. Virginia left the real estate office at about 3:00 PM and stopped at her own residence, where she told her children about the potential sale. Sometime after 7:00 PM, Virginia’s husband, Charles, reported Virginia missing to the Brazos County Sheriff's Office. Charles began searching and found her vehicle parked at a residence for sale on Greens Prairie Road. He found Virginia’s body behind the vacant residence. An autopsy revealed that at approximately 3:30 PM, she had been struck on her head, strangled, and stabbed. The Brazos County Sheriff's Office and the Texas Rangers worked diligently on this however, it remained unsolved. In 1981, DNA was virtually unknown to law enforcement, however evidence from the scene was preserved and in June 2018, with the assistance of a private laboratory, investigators were able to use genealogy records to link James Otto Earhart to this offense with extremely high probability. Earhart was a suspect early in the investigation, and was ultimately convicted for the 1987 murder of Kandy Kirtland, a nine-year-old girl. Earhart was executed in 1999. Earhart's DNA was not preserved at that time. In June 2018, Earhart's body was exhumed and a DNA sample was collected.
On August 30, 2019, the Texas DPS Crime Lab reported that Earhart's DNA was a match to DNA from the crime scene. After 38 years, the murder of Virginia and Freeman was conclusively solved.
Texas Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $3,000 to any person who provides informationthat leads
to the arrest of the person/persons responsible forthis crime. To be eligible for the cash rewards, tipsters
MUST call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477). All tips are anonymous.
Tipsters will be provided a tip number instead of using a name.
Information on this case may also be submitted in the following manner:
- Submit a Tip Online thru the Texas Rangers’ Cold Case website
- Contact us by telephone at 1-800-346-3243. Your information will be forwarded to the Texas Rangerassigned to this case.
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