Tuesday saw the department’s announcement that a suspect in a 25-year-old murder investigation had been detained by Fort Worth police.
Police were called on August 10, 1997, with word that a woman had been discovered dead inside her Fort Worth residence. Verna Dennis, 56, who died as a consequence of blunt trauma, was eventually identified as the woman.
Curt Brannan, a seasoned investigator, responded to the call, according to the agency, and “diligently pursued all available leads.” But he didn’t discover the individual who authorities believe killed Dennis until eight years later.
Fort Worth Police Department
A witness came forward in 2005 with details on a potential suspect. Police conducted more research as a result of this information, which finally led to Michael Puryear’s suspicion.
Even yet, at that time no charges were brought in the case. And it wasn’t until recently that “allowed for testing that was not previously available” in DNA technology that police were able to apprehend Puryear. On July 31, he was arrested at his house.
Jeff Bennett, a Fort Worth cold case detective, revived Dennis’ investigation and was able to expand on Brannan’s earlier efforts.