Husband of Wilson County woman strangled to death in 2009 arrested

Gary Clark arrested in connection with death of wife Sylvia Perez Clark

By Courtney Friedman - VJ, Reporter, RJ Marquez - Digital Content Curator

WILSON COUNTY, Texas - The husband of a Wilson County woman who was found strangled to death in 2009 in her La Vernia home has been arrested in connection with her slaying.

KSAT 12 confirmed that Gary Frank Clark was taken into custody and charged with murder in the death of his wife Sylvia Perez Clark.

The arrest comes almost nine years to the day that Sylvia Clark died, on July 19, 2009. Clark was 50 years old at the time of her death and left behind a young son.

Wilson County investigators and Texas Rangers worked together to arrest Gary Clark at his home Thursday.

Sheriff Joe Tackitt told KSAT a grand jury indicted Gary Clark on murder charges.

Authorities said Gary Clark called 911 on the day of his wife’s death and said he had found her body on the hallway floor.

According to Texas DPS records, Gary Clark was the last person to see Sylvia Clark alive and told authorities he had just returned home from a trip to San Antonio when he discovered her body.

Investigators said she had been strangled and had bruises all over her body. An autopsy determined her manner of death was homicide.

Tackitt told KSAT on Friday that Gary Clark was the number one person of interest in the case from the beginning.

Tackitt said they had evidence but had not been able to connect it to make an arrest.

A Texas Ranger cold case investigator was recently able to help Wilson County authorities piece the case together, Tackitt said. 

KSAT's Coutney Friedman spoke with Sylvia Clark's sister, Hortensia Villarreal, about the case.

“We never gave up. I was always keeping in contact with the ranger for the past nine years," said Villareal. "I know he was probably tired of hearing from me, but I would call him every month.”

Villareal said it was an emotional moment when the family heard of an arrest.

“Heart dropped. We cried, we hugged each other, we were in shock. We kept saying, ‘Is it happening?’ Just glad he’s arrested," said Villareal. “We loved her. She was always there for us. All the emails we’re getting right now, they all think of her as an angel. She was there for everybody. She’s one of a kind.”

Villarreal also had a message for Sylvia and Gary Clark's 17-year-old son, who has been living with his father and is not in contact with Sylvia’s family.

“Justin, we want to tell you that we miss you, we love you," Villareal said. "We miss you, we want to talk to you. Please call us. We haven’t forgotten. Not one day has gone by without thinking of you.”

TIMELINE OF SYLVIA CLARK'S MURDER:

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