Gearen murder still unsolved
It will be two years next week since Bridgette Gearen walked out the door of a Crystal Beach cabin ahead of her friends, looking forward to a midnight ride along the sand. That was the last time her friends saw her alive.
The 28-year-old from Orange got that ride, as witnesses saw her enter a dark, small to mid-size SUV, but were not able to tell if it was voluntary or by force. Authorities believe she met with more than one person.
The next day around 6 a.m. on July 15, 2007, Gearen’s body was found partially clothed, beaten and strangled near the water in the Monkhouse Road area.
Autopsy results indicated sexual assault and blunt force trauma. Witnesses reported screams, but could not say if they came from Gearen. Authorities have received many leads, according to officials.
Authorities did receive “a few things,” said Lt. Tommy Hansen, lead investigator with the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, in 2008; regarding requesting photographs or video taken around the time of the murder. However, nothing viewed was from Gearen’s reported location, so detectives still request any information from the public, which can be submitted anonymously. Gearen’s daughter Kyra was 2 at the time of the murder.
Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo with the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office told The Record Newspapers late Tuesday that the case was “still very active.”
“We’re still working on leads developed over the past couple of years,” he said. “We’ve had quite a few tips called in since last year. We still touch base with the family members in the Orange area every few months.”
A $25,000 reward is offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
Authorities ask the public for help in locating the late model, dark blue, black or gray, small to mid-size SUV, similar in size to a Honda CRV. It is believed there was a spare tire in the rear and a third brake light mounted in the center above the window, fairly clean and at “factory stock.” It didn’t have any fancy wheels or any “bling,” Hansen told The Record in 2008.
Anyone with photographs or videos taken July 14, 2007, in the Crystal Beach area that may contain clues, or any other information “no matter how little” may call the Galveston deputies at (409) 766-2222 or 1-866-248-8477.