Press "Enter" to skip to content

DPS seeks leads in 1985 cold case death of Mexia woman

Share this story

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety is seeking information and asking for the public’s help in solving the 1985 cold case homicide of Dorothy Estep. An increased reward of up to $6,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for her death if the tip is received before the next featured Texas Rangers cold case is announced. A $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest is routinely offered on all cases on the Texas Rangers Unsolved Homicides website.

Estep, 32, was last seen by her neighbor on the evening of Sept. 29, 1985, as she was leaving her home in Mexia, located just outside of Waco in Limestone County, to pick up her daughter from her ex-husband’s house. The following day, Estep failed to show up for work, where she was a social worker for the state of Texas. After being unable to reach her, a coworker reported her missing.

Later in the day on Sept. 30, 1985, Estep’s vehicle — a yellow Plymouth Sapporo — was found on U.S. 84 near the Elk cutoff in neighboring McLennan County. Estep was found deceased in the trunk. Texas Rangers and local law enforcement have worked diligently on this investigation; however, all leads have been exhausted, and the Rangers are asking for the public’s help to solve this case.

To be eligible for cash rewards, tipsters MUST provide information to authorities by calling the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477). All tips are anonymous.

Individuals can also submit information through the Texas Rangers cold case website or by contacting them at 1-800-346-3242 (Missing Persons Hotline).

The DPS Texas Rangers Unsolved Homicides website provides information on more than 125 cases in an effort to garner public interest in unsolved or cold cases. Texas Crime Stoppers offers rewards (funded by the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division and administered by DPS) of up to $3,000 for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for any Rangers cold case listed on the website. For more information, visit the Texas Rangers cold case website.

As part of a DPS public awareness program, one case from the Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation (Cold Case) Program will be featured bi-monthly in an effort to generate new investigative leads and bring attention to these cold cases. The Texas Crime Stoppers reward is increased up to $6,000 for the featured case in hopes that the higher reward money will generate additional tips. The higher reward amount will only be paid if the tip is submitted before the next case is featured.

The Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program was created to assist Texas law enforcement agencies investigating unsolved homicides or violent serial crimes. Since there is no statute of limitations for the offense of murder, investigators pursue these cases to a successful resolution or until no viable leads remain.

Share this story