Kerrville radio station employee killed; man confesses to slaying

Sherry Ruth Francis victim of 'random act of violence'

KERRVILLE, Texas – A 52-year-old woman was found dead Wednesday morning in the parking lot of the radio station where she worked in Kerrville, and her accused killer was arrested, sheriff's officials said.

"Something got me to come all the way over here and look for her and I found her right over there," radio personality Rey Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said he went to the parking lot to look for Sherry Ruth Francis after he realized she didn't show up for her early morning radio show.

"Either she would make the coffee or I would make the coffee, and that's what surprised me when I came in," Rodriguez said. "The coffee wasn't done."

Not long after Francis' body was found, Kerr County sheriff's deputies spotted Gilbert Manriquez walking along the highway near the radio station.

"Some of the evidence at the scene and his demeanor led us to probable cause and him being a suspect," Kerr County Sheriff W.R. "Rusty" Hierholzer said. "Everything that we have suggests that it was a random act of violence," Hierholzer said.

Manriquez was arrested and confessed to the slaying, Hierholzer said.

The sheriff would not discuss a motive or what Manriguez said in his confession because it's an ongoing investigation, Hierholzer said.

Robbery doesn't appear to be a motive since Francis' co-workers said that her laptop, cellphone and purse were found scattered across the parking lot.

"She may have seen this subject standing here when she got out of her car, hollered at him to leave and he attacked her," Hierholzer said.

Manriguez is being held without bond in the Kerr County Jail.


About the Author:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.