Penny Swaller's Family Speaks Out

February 9, 2005--Posted at 6:30 p.m. CST

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY-- A Region 8 family speaks out after 22 years of waiting for the arrest of their daughter's killer.

A murder mystery still haunts the family of Penny Swallers.

"She was a beautiful daughter. She always wanted to come see her mother," Penny's mother, Annie Brooks, says.

It was 1982. Penny was supposed to meet her parents on the eve of her daughter's birthday.

"We waited and waited and called home. They hadn't heard anything," Penny's father, Willie Brooks, says.

After three long weeks, Penny's body was found.

"She'd been shot in the back and was wrapped up. She had a garbage bag over her head and her head and feet were tied. She was wrapped up in a tarp floating down the Brazos River," Mr. Brooks says.

"I can't tell anybody what it was like. It was the worst thing I ever experienced," Mrs. Brooks says.

The police never made an arrest in Penny's case, but her father has his suspicions.

"There was a guy that she was going with down there. They had busted up. I figure if the truth be known, he's the one that had it done," Mr. Brooks says.

"It broke my heart," Mrs. Brooks says.

No one is sure who killed Penny Swallers. For her parents, the agonizing wait didn't end when her body was discovered, and it won't end until her killer is found.

"Unless something like this happens to you, you won't have the slightest idea what it's like when they say someone's killed your daughter," Mrs. Brooks says.