Fort Worth, Texas' homicide detectives hope a 45-year-old letter will help solve an equally old homicide.
The department said Friday detectives discovered the letter after revisiting the case file for the 1974 Carla Walker murder and shared it on social media with the hopes of reaching the author or someone who knows something about the letter.
The redacted letter is apparently addressed to Fort Worth Police Detective Lt. Oliver Ball and appears to say "[redacted] kill Carla Walker in Benbrook." The letter also says, "P.S. It is hard to say but it is true."
Walker was just 17 years old when she was abducted, held captive and eventually murdered in 1974. NBC 5 profiled the murder in 2017 during a series of cold case reports.
Investigators said the abductor snatched the young woman from the passenger seat of her boyfriend's car in a bowling alley parking lot. Her boyfriend told police he was hit over the head and knocked unconscious. When he woke up, he said, Walker was gone.
Walker's body was found dumped in a culvert near Benbrook Lake three days later. Police said she was beaten, raped, strangled and tortured alive for two days after her disappearance. Then there was a puzzling discovery. The medical examiner ruled that the killer injected her with morphine.
Walker's sister, Cindy Stone, told NBC5 the letter and renewed attention from dedicated new detectives, plus a recent podcast on the case are bringing new hope it may finally be solved.
"It's like a void, you go on living but you've got that missing part," Stone said. "For her, I just want it done, I want it closed."
Her brother Jim Walker added, "I'll never forget the sadness and grief my mom had... I would always whisper in her ear that we're going to find who did this to Carla."
Now the family that still feels deep loss, is hoping a whisper from the past will finally bring long-sought answers.
"He's said something to somebody," Walker said of the person who wrote the 1974 letter. "Somebody is going to recognize that type of thought process and writing and that's all we need is a phone call."
Fort Worth police said Walker's case remains open and active. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Cold Case Unit at 817-392-4307.
NBC 5's Alice Barr contributed to this report.