Austin Police are looking through cold cases, continuing to investigate whether an accused Indiana serial killer had any victims in Austin. Darren Vann, 43, of Indiana is accused of killing seven women. Before he lived in Indiana, Vann called Central Texas his home.
According to Austin Police, there are 167 cases assigned to the missing persons and cold case unit. While some families are hoping Darren Vann’s arrest will bring them answers, others say, after decades of wondering what happened to their loved ones, they know better than to get their hopes up.
“She was very outgoing, bubbly… definitely had an attitude and personality. She was just a leader,” Rosalynn Paltauf says of her older sister, Roxanne.
Roxanne Paltauf went missing near a north Austin motel in July of 2006. Not a day goes by that her family doesn’t wonder what happened.
“It’s a horrible cycle to be stuck in,” says Rosalynn.
After Darren Vann allegedly confessed to murdering seven women in Indiana, Austin Police began combing through missing persons and cold case files.
“We try to get as much information as we can about that individual… his whereabouts, her whereabouts, where they lived –any involvement they’ve had within the city with the police department or any other agencies– and try to develop a very tight, concise timeline of that person’s activities… when they came to Austin and when they may have left,” explains Austin Police Department Lt. Scott Ehlert. Austin Police would not answer specific questions regarding Vann, but spoke generally about how they respond to a situation like his.
Roxanne’s family is interested in Vann’s case. They want to know if he has any information about what happened to her.
“It crosses my mind. Is that the answer we’ve been looking for? Closure?” asks Rosalynn.
However, the Paltauf family isn’t getting their hopes up. They say they know this arrest, 1,000 miles away, could very well mean nothing for Roxanne’s case.If that’s so, they hope it can bring new leads and peace for others.
“Even if it doesn’t help our family out, hopefully it can help someone else out because I know exactly what they’re going through. If someone… if another family can have that closure, it’d be all worth it,” says Rosalynn.
Rosalynn says Roxanne went missing at age 18. She was the oldest of 5 siblings. Anyone with information about Roxanne’s disappearance or any missing person/cold cases in Austin can call reports tips to (512) 472-TIPS. The Austin Police Department has 7 detectives working on missing persons and cold cases.