Smith County makes breakthrough in cold case from 1999

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Thursday, April 26, 2012 - 10:11pm

13 years ago at the Woodland Estates subdivision off of old Noonday Road, Smith County authorities investigated the culdasac where the body of 19-year-old William Thomas Young was found -- dead from a single gunshot wound to the head.

Soon, they were able to arrest 20-year-old Shams Emil Masters -- an acquaintance of Young's...but there just wasn't enough evidence for the grand jury to indict him for murder at the time.

So the case went cold.

Now, moving forward to 2012.

Smith County's Detective Joe Rasco, Leiutenant Tony Dana and Chief Deputy Bobby Garmon tell KETK a lot has changed since '99.

"Through old fashioned police work and the fact that people's lives change, situations change and they become different people, witnesses who were not willing to talk to us at that time sometimes begin to talk years later," Dana said.

So with the new evidence, this time, they were succesful in getting an indictment for Masters....who is now in his early 30s...and already doing time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Florence, Colorado for bank robbery charges.

Lt. Dana says it's up to the courts to decide when to bring him back to Smith County to face the music -- for murder.

"To come to this point to where we actually secure an indictment and we've got him charged...it's a great feeling.  I can only imagine how the family feels because it's a great feeling for us because these cases haunt us even years later," Dana said.

Lieutenant Dana tells KETK since Sheriff J.B. Smith started the "Cold Case" unit in 2009, they've been able to solve 4 cold case homicides.

KETK did speak with William Young's family today.  They said it was a good thing they've finally got some answers.

But they couldn't comment on camera due to the ongoing nature of the case.

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