BURNET COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The weekend before his death 10 years ago, Alan Wayne Huggins was camping with his family at Shaffer Bend Recreation Area near Marble Falls. His sister and her children headed home that Sunday. Huggins, an avid camper and angler, planned on staying a couple more days.
“He stayed there ’til the fish stopped biting,” Connie Alvarado said, laughing as she reminisced about her brother. “We were best friends.”
By Wednesday, Alvarado was headed to the lake after work with hopes of meeting back up with Huggins.
“I had tried to call Alan and his phone went straight to voicemail and I just thought, ‘he’s at work,'” she said. “When I went down there and I saw his camp, I knew something was wrong.”
Alvarado says her brother always kept a clean camp, but what she discovered was torn up and his dog was left alone.
“I found him that night right before dark,” Alvarado added, crying. “I didn’t even realize he’d been murdered when I ran up the hill. It didn’t sink in that that could have happened.”
Huggins, 44, was found dead on Feb. 6, 2008. Ten years later, for the first time, investigators revealed to KXAN Huggins was severely beaten and dumped in the water, where he drowned.
At the time, law enforcement said they were looking for a possible witness to the murder. Investigators were looking for a man driving a 1990s maroon or red Ford 4X4 extended cab pickup in very good condition. It was believed that the man may have known something about Huggins’ death.
‘We want justice for my dad.’
It has been a decade since his murder, and with little to no updates or traction in the case, his family is pleading for answers.
“I have forgiveness in my heart, but I can’t forgive you unless I know why you did it or who you are. I have nobody to forgive. How am I going to forgive somebody that I don’t know why they’ve done that to our family? Not only did they do that to him, they did it to us. They did it to our parents. They did it to his daughter, his son,” said Alvarado.
Huggins left behind four siblings and three children. His daughter, Alanda Huggins, was 20 years old when she learned about her father’s death. She was pregnant at the time with her first son Alan, whom they named after her father.
“We still don’t have answers. It’s gone on far too long, and we carry that,” said an emotional Alanda Huggins. “We all do things that we regret. We all make mistakes. We just want to know.”
While the family says they haven’t seen much progress in Huggins’ case, the case is still considered active.
“We want justice for my dad. The way it seems to us, as a family — it kind of was just swept away and put under the mat. Everything just got thrown under the rug,” Alanda Huggins added.
The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office says they will reexamine the case but detectives will be on th case, since both the lead investigator and the captain of that unit employed at the time have since retired.
“I’d like for our people to look at the case again because sometimes new eyes will pick up things that others didn’t, and if we end up in the same place, I have no problem with sending this to a cold case unit,” said Sheriff Calvin Boyd. “We’d love to solve the case if we can. We’d like to get to the end of it and solve it.”
Although the sheriff’s office is too small to have its own cold case unit, the Texas Rangers has one and so does the Austin Police Department.
It’s unclear how much time the Burnet County sheriff will devote to this case before possibly sending it on to a cold case unit, but Boyd says his agency is committed to doing what needs to be done to solve it.
“It’s been 10 years, but if anybody knows anything out there, obviously call the sheriff’s office and let us know,” added Boyd.
“Any little thing. The smallest detail could go a long way,” Alanda Huggins said.
Until she gets the answers she’s looking for, she says she’ll continue relying on her faith and teaching her own children about the amazing man their grandfather was.
“Those answers are going to shine and they’re going to be out there. I have faith that we will know and justice will be served for my father — in one way or another. Justice will be served in our hearts,” she said.
If anyone has information about the mystery surrounding Huggins’ murder, you’re urged to contact the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office.