EDITOR’S NOTE: To bring more awareness to the 20th anniversary of an unsolved double homicide, the Waxahachie Daily Light and the Midlothian Mirror are presenting a four-part series on the history of the case to answer why it has been so difficult to close. A story will publish in each Sunday edition of the Daily and Wednesday in the Mirror. This is story two of four.
The search for Kasey Roberts, a toddler just three weeks away from turning 2 years old, lasted a day. The search for former Lancaster Robbie Jean Biggar lasted four days, until her body was found in an open field.
The search for answers surrounding the 1994 double homicide of a grandmother and her grandson still continues for family and investigators to this day, 20 years, and about a week later.
“You could tell, she’d been beaten, all about her face,” said Clint Tims, the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office investigator on call at the time. “There were some wood slivers, and they kind of determined it was a baseball bat.”
With at least four agencies involved at the time Biggar was found, Tims said he and the Texas Rangers, who eventually were brought in to help with the case, had to play catch up with the others to understand the full picture. He was on scene in 1994 when Biggar was found. Some of the family and investigators, including Tims, wonder if the number of law enforcement agencies involved contributed to how long the case has gone unsolved.
On March 19, 1994, Lancaster Police Department took a missing person’s report from Kevin Roberts, Biggar’s son-in-law, according to police affidavits. He reported his mother-in-law and his son Kasey missing since March 18.
Biggar was babysitting Kasey at the time, and the pair was expected to meet up with friends, boyfriend Larry Samples and family at Lake Whitney for a motorcycle race the day the two were reported missing, affidavits stated.
Lancaster police believed at the time, Biggar and Kasey had possibly been abducted the night before or early March 19, a Saturday, according to a 1994 article of the Waxahachie Daily Light.
When Polly Knott, Biggar’s sister found out they were missing, Knott said family packed up their cars and drove to Biggar’s house to wait for news.
“It was just— I was real concerned, you know? ‘Where were they? Were they OK? And what about their safety?’” Knott said. “We had lots of family and friends who came to Robbie’s house every day until my mom said we were going home, after Robbie had been found.”
Biggar’s 1992 white Ford Thunderbird was found on March 20, parked in a lot of an apartment complex off of Sierra Grande Street in Red Oak, according to affidavits. Kasey was inside, still strapped into his car seat in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle, according ot reports. An autopsy by the Dallas Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Kasey died as a result of dehydration and high temperatures, affidavits and a 1994 Waxahachie Daily Light article stated.
“There were no apparent signs of trauma,” according to a release from the Lancaster police in 1994. “Police theorize that the child died as a result of being abandoned in the car, while temperatures rose into the high 80s on Sunday. Temperatures inside the closed car could have been well over 100 degrees.”
This meant the Red Oak police department was now involved in the search for Biggar. When the Dallas County Sheriff’s office processed the vehicle, it was noted there was an “unusual absence of latent prints,” according to reports.
Back then in 1994, Tims, who was an investigator on the case in 2009, said law enforcement agencies had a tendency to be territorial. Jason Westmoreland, an Ellis County Sheriff’s Office investigator on the case in 2009, said it wasn’t until after the World Trade Center was attacked in 2001 that he saw law enforcement agencies collaborate more.
“When I called the Rangers, it pissed some people off,” Tims said. “You start stepping on toes, and people get pissed off. It’s hard to work something by yourself. You’ve got to have a team effort. A lot of these guys, they get their egos built up and think they’re going to solve the world’s problems and they’re not.”
An apartment resident at the time, told investigators he was sure he noticed the vehicle at about 9 p.m. the night before Kasey was found, but authorities had not determined how long Kasey had been there before the car was noticed, a 1994 Waxahachie Daily Light article stated. The car was reported to have dark-tinted windows, which authorities thought might have prevented passersby from seeing Kasey, the article stated.
Until Biggar’s body was found on March 22 in a field on the Superconducting Super Collider property in Maypearl, authorities treated the case as an abduction, according to a 1994 Waxahachie Daily Light article printed the day she was found. Though federal property at the time, the SSC property was also in Ellis County territory.
“We’re assuming foul play because this situation is so out of character for Ms. Biggar,” said Lancaster Police Chief at the time Mac McGuire, in the 1994 article.
Biggar was found by an employee on the property, 60 feet off the shoulder of Farm-to-Market 66 in tall, green grass almost hiding her from view, a 1994 Waxahachie Daily Light article printed the day after she was found, stated. Only a comparison of dental records could confirm her identity, because her face was so badly damaged, a 1994 article stated two days later.
Tims said he spoke to the medical examiner at the time, and the medical examiner mentioned that Biggar’s death had similarities in another homicide from December 1993.
“That’s something we pondered over, and tried to tie the two together, which we never could,” Tims said.
By this point, the Dallas County Sherriff’s Office, the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, the Lancaster Police Department and the Red Oak Police Department were investigating the double homicide.
Police affidavits state investigators conducted a crime scene search at her Lancaster home the day before Biggar was found. Items located at the home on the 200 block of Melrose Lane, were discovered on the kitchen counter, including lunchmeat that indicated some type of activity occurred right before Biggar’s and Kasey’s disappearance. A diaper bag and clothing for Kasey were discovered on a bed in Biggar’s bedroom, and evidence suggested Biggar planned to return prior to going to Lake Whitney, affidavits state.
During this investigation, reports also state Biggar purchased gasoline at 7 p.m. at what was a Diamond Shamrock at the intersection of Pleasant Run and Dewberry the day before she was reported missing. The reports also state Biggar habitually zeroed out her odometer every time she filled up. When investigators found her vehicle in Red Oak, the odometer read 46.3 miles, affidavits stated. A Texas Ranger, with the Public Safety Department, drove the route from the gas station to Biggar’s house, to the location her body was found, back to the Red Oak apartment complex, noting the route was 46.5 miles round trip, affidavits stated.
At least 12 people were interviewed as witnesses, according to the affidavits. This included ex-boyfriend Larry Samples, who was not yet determined a person of interest connected to the case. However, affidavits state, Samples may have been the last person to see Biggar and Kasey alive, at her residence between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. the day before she went missing. Samples and an acquaintence were arrested for the double homicide in 2009, but let go in 2010 after the Ellis County District Attorney at the time ruled there wasn’t enough concrete evidence to indict either of them.
On March 25, 1994, leads began to fade, according to a Waxahachie Daily Light article. Even the offer of a $10,000 reward didn’t help turn anything up, according to articles.
When the Waxahachie Daily Light requested documents from all law enforcement agencies involved, only the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office could produce any, partially because the investigation is still open. The office produced more than 20 pages of arrest warrants, and affidavits, but has eight binders related to the case. Anything beyond that would have to be given an OK by the Attorney General. The request to the Texas Rangers has been sent to the Attorney General, which could take at maximum 45 days before a response is given, under the Freedom of Information Act.
A month after the double homicide, Lancaster was hit by a major tornado, causing damage to all records prior to April 1994. Currently, the Lancaster department has a “no records found” status related to the case of Biggar and Kasey. The current records clerk said if Lancaster had any documents, they would have probably been sent to the lead investigative agency in the case — Ellis County Sheriff’s Office.
In April 2002, a fire at Red Oak City Hall destroyed all the police records at that time, “making retrieval impossible for anything” during 1994, according to a statement from the Red Oak Police Department.
“It’s just part of the whole 20-year history, it’s just kind of typical, through no fault of theirs,” said Ann Gipson, Biggar’s friend for 15 years. “They don’t cause fires, they don’t cause tornadoes. It further leads to hope — the window of opportunity — of still possibly being open, to then being slammed shut with those occurrences.”
For Knott, that window of opportunity is only something she can take a day at a time, she said.
“You just always have hope, you can’t ever give up. I will never give up,” she said. “The case will never be over until it’s over.”