OKC Family Reacts To Break In Houston Murder Cold Case

Thursday, September 6th 2012, 5:58 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

An Oklahoma City family is closer to justice today after investigators say they have solved a cold case in Texas.

Shonda Alexander was murdered  back in 2004.  Now investigators say they have the man who killed her.

The suspect: Troy McWhorter was supposed to be released from prison next month where he was doing time for theft.  Now he is facing capital murder charges and possibly the death penalty.

Thirty-six year old Alexander was an army vet and mother of six children.

"I have two kids that she never got to meet and she never got to go to my wedding," said Alexander's daughter Jessica Battle. 

Investigators say Alexander followed the wrong guy to Houston and when they separated she got involved in drugs and prostitution.

She was found dead in Harris County Texas on July 21, 2004.

9/6/12 Related Story: Oklahoma Family Learns Of Arrest Made In Houston Woman's Murder

"She wasn't hurting nobody but herself and for somebody to take her life, they had no right to take her life," said Alexander's sister.

Investigators say Troy McWhorter lived on the street where Alexander and other prostitutes frequented but he was never a suspect in her murder and never had a violent history.

But this year he was arrested on a theft case.  Texas prison officials retrieved a routine DNA sample and that turned out to be the break in the case that had long been cold.

"It sat there from 2004 to 2012 and all of a sudden Mr. McWhorther's swab sample was uploaded to the same data base, boom an instant computer hit," Sgt. Bobby Minchew with the Harris County Sheriff's Office said.

"I thank God they found him," said Janet Reese, Alexander's mother. "Never gave up hope."

Alexander's family says they are confident police have the right man and her daughter says she will wear a dog tag with her mother's picture until he is convicted.

"I just hope he gets what he deserves," said Battle.

McWhorter could face the death penalty if convicted.