TX - Elizabeth Barraza, 29, murdered setting up garage sale, Harris Co, Jan 2019 #3

MntnHiker

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IMO, the truck is key in this case. Now onto the garage sale. On the day of the murder sunrise was at 7:16 a.m. JMO, It's interesting the placement of the treadmill. Seems it is placed in the way to block view of the Nest cam... I'm not familiar with garage sales. I've done one garage in my life and it was many years ago. I never go to garage sales and frankly pay no attention to them. What time do garage sales usually start? I would guess that 9:00 a.m. would be the time to open your sale? Any help/info about garage sales is appreciated. I ask this because it seems like Liz was getting an early start on the garage sale. I could be over thinking all of this. TIA and IMO.
I don't live in TX, but I do hold garage sales somewhat regularly and many of my neighbors do as well. Around here, 8 AM is the common start time. Many run Fri/Sat or even Th/Fri/Sat here. Typically they last all day, like 8-4 or 8-5. However, as a PP pointed out, there are usually garage sale early birds that show up prior to opening. We will be out at 7 AM setting up for a sale that is advertised to begin at 8 and people will show up and browse. Liz probably didn't find it odd then that someone showed up early IMO.

As far as advertising, I do think it's a little odd, personally, to not advertise in a newspaper or something like Craigslist or Next Door, which are both popular ways to advertise sales here for free (whereas the newspaper costs money). However, it could be that sales were so common in her area on Fridays that she figured that would be enough to catch garage salers driving around. When we do ours (once every couple years), we do advertise online but that's not to say we wouldn't get sales without it, just never tried doing only signs.
 

griss

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However, it could be that sales were so common in her area on Fridays that she figured that would be enough to catch garage salers driving around. When we do ours (once every couple years), we do advertise online but that's not to say we wouldn't get sales without it, just never tried doing only signs.
RSBM - This. We have never had to advertise a garage sale in our area. In our area, garage sales are mostly on Saturdays and on those days there will be tons of people driving through the subdivisions looking for sales.
 

JnRyan

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I wonder about the timing and lack of advance advertisement of the garage sale and the disguise of the killer. Was the purpose of the disguise to allow the killer to be able to ring the doorbell and if Elizabeth came to the door make her feel at ease enough to open the door if she looked through a peephole? Its quite possible this killer may have not known about the camera. I can imagine LE has looked through previous camera footage to see if someone had been performing a recon. But upon arriving at her house that morning they are surprised by the sale and improvise.

According to the timeline, Elizabeth and Sergio put out signs about the sale the night before.
So maybe in that in 0200 drive-by the killer sees the signs and revises their plan. Big risk for the killer there as Sergio might have stayed home as well and the killer probably wouldn't have known in advance. So that may have been a reason to park somewhere in the neighborhood so he could observe Sergio leaving? Or maybe the 0200 was just another recon and the killer took advantage of the garage sale.

If this is someone known to Elizabeth perhaps the killer had been there before and knew about the camera. At a cookout or party hosted by Elizabeth and Sergio 2 or 3 years earlier? Or something as simple as dropping something off at their house 2 or 3 years earlier.

I can't get over that timeline where the killer parks at the Goddard School and another street where they can possibly observe Sergio leaving. It seems that it is obvious that only Elizabeth is the target and the killer wants to avoid a second party at the scene. Probably not for any feelings or anything else for Sergio, but rather with two persons it increases the chance of the killing going sideways.

Everything about this screams planning. Recon trip, parking nearby to observe the comings and goings and the disguise. Even in this day in age when almost everyone buys semi-auto handgun, this killer uses a revolver. Getting forensic info from a bullet is not always certain due to possible damage if it hits bone or travels through to strike a hard object. But spent casings from a semi-auto can be ID'd to the firing pin and extractor marks and this killer uses a gun that doesn't leave the casings behind. I suppose this might have been the only gun available to the killer, but it does look part of the planning.
 

JnRyan

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As far as advertising, I do think it's a little odd, personally, to not advertise in a newspaper or something like Craigslist or Next Door, which are both popular ways to advertise sales here for free (whereas the newspaper costs money). However, it could be that sales were so common in her area on Fridays that she figured that would be enough to catch garage salers driving around. When we do ours (once every couple years), we do advertise online but that's not to say we wouldn't get sales without it, just never tried doing only signs.
I found that out of the ordinary as well. Even if they put out signs in my area they put out with more notice. In fact, just driving out of my neighborhood two days ago, I saw signs for a sale this Saturday. But I don't believe that factors much into this except to ask, 'Did the killer know in advance there was to be a sale and if there wasn't one what would they have done instead?'

I have so many questions about this senseless act every time I come here. And only questions, no answers.
 

dgfred

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I just find it strange with so little notice. I mean even if people just drive around looking for them... most people I know/ask at least put up a poster or two.
My friend was cleaning out his garage and some random dude stopped and asked if he was selling anything... so there is that too. So confusing this one.
Seems the killer had a few lucky charms kicking in that day.
 

ilovewings

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Like JR mentioned before maybe the yard sale wasn't planned in the killing at first... but presented an easier (than going to the door) plan.

I see this as someone who really hated this woman- sounds to me like some kind of revenge thing- perhaps work related, who knows, but it was clearly planned-- I hope they find this person but so much time has gone by- maybe the increase in the reward will bring someone out of the woodwork! When police always say there are no perfect crimes, we can point to so many we have on this site, to show that is not true.
 

fridaybaker

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It's interesting that the killer did not attempt to make their cowardly hit during the coffee run. Did the killer wait until Liz start setting up garage sale because killer wanted Liz to know why she was going to be killed? IMO
That's hard for me to believe, but certainly possible. Some other possibilities:
  • Killer knew or thought Sergio would be home during the coffee run, so a possible witness/interference with the murder.
  • Killer wasn't ready during the time of the coffee run. Was still positioning himself and maybe doing other, last minute preparations.
  • Killer thought with Liz in or around her vehicle it may be more difficult as she could try to shield herself with it, drive away, etc., and if he waited until she was close to her door he would be more visible on a ring camera.
  • Killer thought that it would be easier to get closer to her before raising her suspicion while she was setting up a garage sale vs. out getting coffee. He'd "have a reason to approach her", rather being a stranger (or not!) approaching her randomly. That would mean that knew about the garage sale beforehand, though.
 

JnRyan

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It's interesting that the killer did not attempt to make their cowardly hit during the coffee run. Did the killer wait until Liz start setting up garage sale because killer wanted Liz to know why she was going to be killed? IMO
Was this coffee run a usual thing for Elizabeth? Maybe with the out-of-the-ordinary garage sale she didn't want to make coffee that morning? Or she normally got her coffee in the office and she wasn't going to be there that morning? I do wonder about that nonetheless.
 

JnRyan

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I still wonder how the garage sale figured in or not. If the killer was waiting at the school and the other street AND Sergio decided to call in absent with his work and help with the sale, what would the killer have done when they didn't see Sergio leave? Go ahead with the plan and risk the killing of a second person? Call it off for another time?

If I've thought about this, I have to believe the same has gone through Sergio's mind. Many times. And wondering if he would also be dead in addition to Elizabeth? Or would he have made a difference?
 

Cryptic

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Even in this day in age when almost everyone buys semi-auto handgun, this killer uses a revolver. this killer uses a gun that doesn't leave the casings behind. I suppose this might have been the only gun available to the killer, but it does look part of the planning.
Good point about the revolver being interesting.

She (I am almost certain the shooter is a woman by clothing. Seems to have visible breasts at one point when walking in silouhette. They also seem well.... "proportionate" to an apparent heavier set build) has good control over the weapon:

- hand does not rise excessively in recoil, despite one handed use of the weapon.
- Does appear to flinch by anticipating the recoil. Does not panic / rage fire successive shots inadvertently.
- Does not require excessive time aiming. Does not seem to jerk a longer trigger pull. \\

And.... As you pointed out, the murderer is using a revolver- not exactly a "go to gun" for impulse murders.

Given the totality, I think she has had prior experience, but no formal training (does not use a trained shooters stance). Perhaps a "Daddy's tom girl" who gained experience via "plinking" cans etc.?

Speaking of recoil, the revolver appears to have very little recoil and her hand does not seem to be carried upwards by the shot at all. Maybe very practiced to be able to bring her hand back down fast?

Or.... maybe a small calibre revolver (.22, .32)? Where does one just happen upon one of those? Maybe an enthusiast who knows what she is looking for and sought it out? Or..... did it come from daddy's closet?
 
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MntnHiker

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I also wondered about the coffee run. It was almost a whole hour earlier that she returned from Starbucks so it was much darker out then, there would be less people awake/up and about in the neighborhood, etc. I know she walked up her front walk and entered the front door with her coffee as opposed to going through the garage (footage of her returning with her coffee in the Arrin Stoner video). But I do wonder if she normally would pull into the garage after her coffee run (IF the coffee run was a part of her routine) and enter the house that way, so if the killer had been watching her previously, maybe thought the coffee run was not a good time because she wouldn't be out of the house at any point when she wasn't also in her vehicle. Maybe she only entered the front door because the garage was full of yard sale stuff? Would be interesting to know how Liz would usually enter the house.

I agree that perhaps the coffee run wasn't an everyday thing so impossible for the killer to plan on it and/or Sergio was home (and maybe was usually home during that time) and they didn't want a possible witness in him. MOO
 

JnRyan

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They also seem well.... "proportionate" to an apparent heavier set build) has good control over the weapon:

- hand does not rise excessively in recoil, despite one handed use of the weapon.
- Does appear to flinch by anticipating the recoil. Does not panic / rage fire successive shots inadvertently.
- Does not require excessive time aiming or confidence building.

But..... I am thinking maybe a small calibre revolver (.22, .32)? Where does one just happen upon one of those? Maybe an enthusiast who knows what she is looking for and sought it out? Or..... maybe it came from daddy's closet?
I noted those same things about the shooting. A VERY experienced shooter? Almost all handgun training is exclusively two handed grip with the dominant hand. As you get more advanced then do you get into shooting with the opposite hand, one handed shooting, how to load and shoot with one hand, etc. My training when shooting at an potential assailant inside two paces called for a two handed grip with my elbows locked to my sides for at least the first two shots. My initial reaction was this shooter was NOT an experienced shooter. But there is also the argument that while they might be an experienced shooter in the high stress moment they just simply reacted. IOW, while they might be an experienced shooter at targets they are NOT experienced at killing. At that distance though, even the most inexperienced shooter could hit the target so experience is tough to figure.

The lack of recoil while shooting one handed led me to believe this likely was not a medium caliber revolver such as a .38 Special, .357 Magnum or .327 Magnum or larger. I'm thinking .22, .22 Magnum or .32 caliber. .32's are not common, but not difficult to find. The Rossi .32 comes to mind but it isn't made any longer. Like from daddy's closet? I'm leaning toward a .22 Magnum loaded with hollowpoints. There are plenty of .22 and .22 Magnums available from companies like Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Rock Island and Charter Arms. S&W made a snubnose .22 mag in double action only that used to be common as a back-up piece for LE. Just about every experienced shooter I know that shoots a 9mm, .40 cal, .45 ACP, etc., also owns a .22 handgun of some type. Another point I consider in argument of a .22 is that Elizabeth was shot 4 times, the 4th at point blank range in what appears to be a head wound and yet even with the head wound she was still alive at the scene and survived the trip to the ER. She was still alive on life support the next day in the hospital. It's not common but there are cases of persons surviving head wounds from a .22. Make no mistake .22's are still deadly. President Reagan was shot with a .22 and even though it was only a single shot ricochet off the car door he almost bled to death before they could get him to surgery.

But while I've done a LOT of shooting on my own, in self defense training and in the military I am not certified instructor or an ER doctor, so this is strictly from my own shooting experience and personal opinion.
 

girlhasnoname

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I still wonder how the garage sale figured in or not. If the killer was waiting at the school and the other street AND Sergio decided to call in absent with his work and help with the sale, what would the killer have done when they didn't see Sergio leave? Go ahead with the plan and risk the killing of a second person? Call it off for another time?

If I've thought about this, I have to believe the same has gone through Sergio's mind. Many times. And wondering if he would also be dead in addition to Elizabeth? Or would he have made a difference?
You've brought up some great thoughts JR. Anything is possible, but I do believe that Eliza was targeted and this was a very, very planned event. It was no coincidence IMO that SB left and I minute later the killer(s) were on the way to the house.

JMO
 

somequestions

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How did the killer know the Barraza's were having a garage sale? They did not put up signs for it until the night before. I think we can assume police were smart enough to look for surveillance video of the murderer and the Nissan Frontier Pro-4X truck driving around prior to it being spotted at 2 am. If it was not, that is very strange. The theory would be the murderer saw the garage sale signs at 2 am in the morning and came back that morning to murder Elizabeth Barraza. The point is the first time they would have seen the garage signs is 2 am in the morning because it has to be after the Barraza's put up the garage sale signs. This is if their truck was not spotted in the neighborhood earlier. Yet they were there already. Would the murder have happened even without the garage sale?

The Barraza's lived in a subdivision type housing development called Princeton Place. It is one of those type of areas where all the houses look similar to each other. It is the type of house where you need to know the address in order to get to it.

In my opinion, I can rule out the garage sale having anything to do with her murder. Or there is only one way it has anything to do with the murder: This person either saw the Barraza's putting up the garage sale signs or they were told by one of them there was going to be a garage sale that Friday morning. That would suggest to me a murderer very close to home either personally or geographically.
 

MURDERER_SERVANT

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There are things about this for which I have unanswered questions about the sequence of events. However, THAT is not one of them.
I think you suggested on one of yr posts that the perp was at a point where she could see the house .. AFAIK The perp was waiting at a spot from where she could not see S left . Yet she/he managed to move heading to Liz’s house at the same minute S left (06:048:00) and arrived at 06:52:12 .. it took him like 4 minutes after S left ..
 

JnRyan

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I think you suggested on one of yr posts that the perp was at a point where she could see the house .. AFAIK The perp was waiting at a spot from where she could not see S left . Yet she/he managed to move heading to Liz’s house at the same minute S left (06:048:00) and arrived at 06:52:12 .. it took him like 4 minutes after S left ..
I don't know where you're going with this, but from what little we know ANYTHING is possible.
 
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