Posted: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 3:00 pm
The mother of slain Bridgette Gearen is taking to the Internet in hopes of bringing closure to the now seven year old unsolved murder.
“I have something I’d like to have shown (by the media). Maybe somebody will come forward to help,” Pamela Kimble, Gearen’s mother, said.
Kimble created a Flipogram that can be viewed on Youtube filled with photos chronicling the life of her daughter.
Kimble’s Flipogram is poignant yet straight to the point and features the following message — “Will "ANYONE" PLEASE HELP! ? Bridgette is my one and only baby girl. Please link to YouTube: Bridgette Gearen. ..any and all much appreciated.”
It can be viewed at http://youtu.be/lzHgY3DWQ24
“My baby needs justice, it’s been over seven years,” the Port Arthur mother said via phone. “It’s taken me seven years to stop just existing and start living again.”
And now that’s she’s “alive” once again she wants answers and for her daughter’s killers to be brought to justice.
Rest and relaxation is what brought Gearen, 28, of Orange, to a weekend beach cabin rental with friends from Provost and Umphrey Law Firm where she worked as a legal secretary on July 14, 2007. Gearen was last seen leaving out ahead of friends from the cabin to go for a midnight drive on the beach while her then 2-year-old daughter slept. Her partially clad body was found the next morning by campers near the water’s edge. She had endured possibly hours of torture, was beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled.
Tommy Hansen is now retired from the Galveston County Sheriffs’ office but continues to work on the cold case in conjunction with the FBI. Through the years he has accumulated thousands of pages of documents and developed several persons of interest but an arrest and closure has eluded the former GCSO lieutenant.
“I live and breathe this case,” Hansen said via phone. “That morning, I was down there and have worked as much as humanly possible. There have been hundreds of reports and thousands of pages of documents. This is one of those cases that sticks to you.”
Witnesses to the crime reported seeing Gearen get into the suspect vehicle. The vehicle was described as a newer model, small to mid-size 4-door SUV, dark blue, gray or black in color. The SUV has a spare tire mounted on the rear. There is a third brake light mounted in the center above the rear window. The windows are said to be very darkly tinted.
Hansen believes more than one person is responsible for the murder and a number of issues have hampered the case. The location is one problem.
“Our area has a lot of transient people and by that I don’t mean street people,” he said. “So many people come in and out of Galveston County and Galveston is a key tourist area. We have heavy industry, 70 miles of beach front, a seafood industry, the University of Texas Medical Branch, it’s the playground of the nation.”
Millions of people travel through that area which makes even supposedly simple burglary crimes difficult to solve sometimes.
“We work a lot of crimes on the peninsula such as simple burglary. The victim doesn’t live there and the suspects or witnesses may not either,” he said. “It’s a logistics nightmare. Anything that has to do with those cases requires strategy and travel. It’s not like you can drive in your car around the county or city.”
The Gearen case has led Hansen to many places across the state and beyond.
Then comes a second problem — Hurricane Ike.
About a year after the murder Hurricane Ike made landfall in Galveston devastating coastal communities and wiping out most beach homes on the Bolivar Peninsula. Those communities have rebuilt but not everybody returned.
“Virtually everyone who lived out there are gone,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many dozens and dozens of people I’ve traveled to interview. Ninety-five percent of the structures are gone and we’re behind the eight ball but that hasn’t changed a lot but caused delay.”
Hansen, like Kimble, believes someone holds the key to the case.
“I still think there are more people who know more about this case and I don’t know why they won’t come forward. If it was your mother, your sister or your daughter you’d beat down our door. This mother needs this resolved and her daughter definitely needs this resolved.”