It’s been 12 years since Patricia Oferosky and Stephen Mitchelltree were gunned down while working at a Pizza Hut in Terrell.
On September 3, 2006, Terrell Police say Oferosky, an assistant manager, and Mitchelltree, a deliveryman, were found dead around closing time.
Four current and former Pizza Hut employees were arrested, but they were later released.
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Today, Oferosky’s memory lives on through the pictures throughout her mother’s home in Wills Point.
“I’m not sure you really cope with any of it. You just simply get up and put one foot in front of the other every morning and get out of bed. Because what they took from us was a daughter, a mother, a sister, and aunt, and I think you just learn to get up and live each day the best you can do,” said Jean Lee.
Sitting at her kitchen table sorting through old newspaper clippings chronicling the case, Lee says it’s been years since her family received a phone call with updates.
Eventually the Texas Rangers took it over, and Pat and Steve’s deaths are among their top 12 cold cases. Still, Lee says she’s not sure they’ll ever get answers.
“I get frustrated because of what happened and because there’s no justice. I don’t dwell on it. I’m not angry. Because I truly, truly feel if they do not get justice and their punishment here on earth, that they will get it when they leave here,” said Lee.
But her grandchildren, the five kids Oferosky left behind, haven’t given up.
“They want justice. They want someone punished for taking their mother,” said Lee.
On the 12th anniversary of her death, her youngest daughter has organized a vigil at that old Pizza Hut location, long ago converted into a tobacco shop. They plan to share memories about Oferosky’s life, hoping it will remind the public that the case remains unsolved.
It’s why Lee says she’s willing to open up in hopes those who know something will finally come forward.
“I would ask them to really search their heart and if they know anything at all that they could tell or talk to someone that would help solve this case, please do. I think it would help a lot of people. It wouldn’t take the hurt away, and it wouldn’t bring her back, but I think it would help the hole that’s in their heart,” said Lee.
The Texas Rangers say the case remains open and active. Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $3,000 for information that could lead to an arrest.