Patricia Townsend's anguish over her daughter's disappearance nearly five years ago is measured in hugs missed, grandchildren denied and justice delayed. Hopeful uncertainty about why Bridget Townsend vanished on Jan. 15, 2001, turned to chronic heartache after her remains were found 21 months later. "The hard part was not knowing where she was," Patricia Townsend, 58, recalled of the vibrant 18-year-old she calls "my baby." Investigators had no leads about Bridget Townsend's fate until Ramiro F. Gonzales, whom she'd known since middle school, told police in October 2002 that he'd slain her. Gonzales, then 19, led police to Townsend's skeleton just days after he had been sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapping and sexual assault of another Bandera woman, who had escaped and helped police find him. Abandoned at birth and raised primarily by a grandmother, Gonzales was sexually abused by a male relative as a child and corrupted with alcohol and drugs by age 12, Emmett Harris, a court-appointed defense attorney, said last week. Gonzales told mental health officials he was "obsessed" with dead bodies, the records show. As a youth, the records state, Gonzales "on numerous occasions shot animals and then watched their bodies decay over time." They also state that he repeatedly went to the ranch where Townsend's body was dumped to look at it after her death. That sort of graphic testimony is upsetting to Patricia Townsend, who repeatedly left a recent pretrial hearing after being consumed with tears. http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA122605.5B.bandera.limbo.8053818.html I hope they did a real good search of that ranch. If he wasn't a serial yet, he was well on his way.