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Lesbian couple shot in Texas, one killed; police seek motive

June 26, 2012|By Molly Hennessy-Fiske

HOUSTON -- An 18-year-old south Texas woman is in serious but stable condition Tuesday, and her 19-year-old girlfriend dead, after an unknown attacker shot them both at close range last weekend at a park in the Gulf Coast town of Portland.

Investigators hope Mary Christine Chapa, 18, can help them find a suspect and explain the motive behind the Saturday shooting about eight miles north of Corpus Christi.

Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, died from a gunshot wound to the neck, and her death has been ruled a homicide, San Patricio County Justice of the Peace Karen Diaz told the Los Angeles Times.

"Mollie touched the lives of everyone and will always be remembered for her intelligence, beauty, compassion, humor and her kind heart," her family wrote in an obituary announcing a memorial service Friday in Portland.

A makeshift memorial had been set up Tuesday at the site where the pair were found. A candlelight vigil and walk were planned for Friday.

The pair were found lying in knee-deep grass at Violet Andrews Park, Portland Police Chief Randy Wright told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Olgin was pronounced dead at the scene.

The couple had been dating for five months, friends told KZTV.

"You always hear, 'They never did anything wrong. Why was it them? They were so innocent.' In all actuality, Mollie and Christine were innocent. They never did anything wrong," Samantha Garrett, Olgin's roommate, told KZTV. "I've been trying to think of anybody I know that would try and hurt them for any reason -- especially them being a couple, and not one person has ever come to mind."

“It’s something that I think all of us are going to carry with us for a while,” Frank Reyna, a friend of the women, told msnbc.com. “It’s going to take a while to get past this, the idea that there is somebody still out there that did this to these two amazing, beautiful people and that they’re walking free right now.”

Investigators were considering Tuesday whether the couple were targeted because of their relationship. They believe that the women's attacker led them down a trail into tall grass before shooting them with a large-caliber handgun. A witness reported seeing a dark-colored vehicle leave the scene.

"This particular case, it does have some of the earmarks of a targeted attack," Wright told KZTV.

Wright told reporters that investigators have yet to interview Chapa, although they hope to do so soon.

"She is able to communicate," Wright told the Caller-Times. "But we have not yet been able to talk with her."

Wright and other investigators could not be reached by phone Tuesday.

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Join Molly on Google+ and Twitter @mollyhf. Email: molly.hennessy-fiske@latimes.com

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