EL PASO, Texas — It’s a nearly 30-year-old mystery, El Paso cold case investigators are still trying to solve.
“The engine was off. The radio was playing and he had been beaten to death,” said El Paso police Detective Michael Aman.
On April 9, 1989, a truck driver discovered the body of 34-year-old Stephen Hicks on Don Haskins Road.
“It was very violent,” said Aman.
Back then it was mostly a desert area, a place where people liked to come party.
He was found outside his truck, the music still sounding through the desert morning from the night before.
“It's really a mystery,” said Aman.
The killer or killers were gone but left a few clues for detectives.
“It was obvious it was an ambush,” said Aman. “They beat him to death with some sort of tool.”
Aman said Hicks was likeable.
“He was a happy go lucky guy,” said Aman. “He was kind of the center of the family.”
He also was strong, 6 feet, 2 inches tall with a few fights under his belt.
“He was known not to shy away from fights,” said Aman.
Aman has retraced Hicks’s last hours but still doesn't know why he was on the road that night.
“We don't know why he went out there, if he went to party, if he went to meet someone,” said Aman.
The evidence speaks to a few things. Aman believes it was more than one person and he thinks Hicks saw it coming.
“He left an open knife on the dashboard, he knew something was up,” said Aman.
The killer did leave something crucial behind.
“We have some fingerprints,” said Aman.
Back in the '80's there wasn't a national database for fingerprints.
“The fingerprints were entered into different systems,” said Aman.
Aman is hoping to get some help from technology, as more people are entered into the national database every day.
“It could happen any day that there’s a hit,” he said.
As technology improves, evidence collected in 1989 may produce a major clue.
“We go back in to see if there is evidence, to see if there is something we could maybe extract DNA from, which may be the case here,” said Aman.
But Aman thinks it may just take someone, telling the truth about a 30-year-old secret.
“Somebody witnessed this and didn't want to come forward,” said Aman.
If you have any information about the murder of Stephen Hicks:
You are asked to call Crimestoppers of El Paso : (915) 566-8477