Sylvia Salinas, a 30-year-old woman, was born on January 7, 1959, in Galveston, Texas. As a child, she came from a family of devout Catholics and attended Mass regularly. In the late 1970’s, Sylvia became the owner of a Salinas Food store. The small...
Sylvia Salinas, a 30-year-old woman, was born on January 7, 1959, in Galveston, Texas. As a child, she came from a family of devout Catholics and attended Mass regularly. In the late 1970’s, Sylvia became the owner of a Salinas Food store. The small store was in the same Galveston neighborhood as the one she was raised in. She was known as valued member of her community who was friendly and welcomed new customers to her store.
On October 31, 1989, Sylvia Salinas was working at her grocery store located at the corner of 31st Street and Avenue Q in Galveston. Her parents, had stopped by the store for a visit. When they left the store, their daughter was alive. This would be the last time they would ever see their daughter alive.
At 1:22 pm, a private alarm was triggered and sent Galveston Police officers to the Salinas grocery store. Four minutes later, law enforcement arrived to a horrific scene. Sylvia Salinas was found dead behind the counter. She was slumped over in a pool of blood. Her killer had stabbed her to death with her own butcher knife. The knife was sitting next to her on the counter. For protection, Sylvia kept a loaded revolver and a machete. Neither was touched. Law enforcement believe she must have been taken by surprise. This would explain why she wasn’t able to use her revolver or machete. The killer had pried open the register and stolen the cash but left behind the coins. And since the register had blood on it, law enforcement speculated that the killer used the butcher knife to open the register after stabbing Sylvia to death.
Law enforcement has since taken a second look at the case with fresh eyes to see if they possibly overlooked something. Unfortunately, some evidence may have been lost after Hurricane Ike rolled through back in 2008. The only evidence that remains is the knife and an old video tape of the crime scene. For this episode, I spoke to Amanda Upton, who is Sylvia’s great niece. She is trying to get answers for her family and find out who killed her aunt over 30 years ago.
Unfortunately, the case has gone cold and law enforcement hasn’t made any arrests. Were you living in this part of Galveston 30 years ago? Perhaps you shopped at Sylvia’s store? It’s possibly you may have seen something that didn’t seem significant at the time. If you know what happened to Sylvia, please call the Galveston Crime Stoppers at 409-763-8477.
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