Mom still seeks justice more than a year after Brown County woman's murder
LAKE BROWNWOOD, Texas - Catherine McDaniel stood in front of her daughter's grave Friday at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery located in Lake Brownwood. The rain didn't deter her from making the daily visit, which she describes as a ritual, to pay her respects.
"She loved Halloween, so I'll buy her Halloween," McDaniel said of decorations she's going to place around Chantay Blankinship's grave.
It's been more than a year since the body of Blankinship, 25, was found in an abandoned house on County Road 424. It was less than five miles away from her Lake Brownwood home.
No suspects have been arrested, but that still hasn't stopped her mother from seeking justice.
"We shouldn't have to be here everyday visiting day," McDaniel said. "As days go by, it doesn't get any easier."
Brown County law enforcement located Blankinship's body on May 15, 2016, two days after she was reported missing.
The Brown County Sheriff's Office reported she died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head, but they've refused to release her autopsy report.
Sheriff Vance Hill said Friday they have no new information on the case to release at this time.
McDaniel said she's angry with law enforcement because and their lack of keeping her informed of the investigation's progress.
"I think it could've been done different, I really do," McDaniel said.
Blankinship's stepfather, Steven McDaniel, said it's hard to sleep at night.
"You always feel that you failed as a parent because you weren't there to watch over her and protect her," he said.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Texas Rangers are assisting the sheriff's office in solving Blankinship's murder case.
Hill previously told KTXS they have DNA evidence and a murder weapon, but haven't been able to pin the two on a suspect.
"She needs to be remembered, she needs her justice," McDaniel said of her daughter.
McDaniel prays the murder case doesn't go cold.
Anyone with a tip is encouraged to call Heart of Texas Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477. There's a reward of up to $5,000 for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction.