SAN ANTONIO – The year was filled with several shocking and memorable stories across the San Antonio area. Here’s a look at the top headlines of 2019.
King Jay Davila case:
The disappearance and search for 8-month-old King Jay Davila in early January made national headlines.
Davila was initially reported to have been kidnapped, but authorities uncovered a sordid plan by his relatives to cover up the child’s death.
His remains were found days later inside a backpack at a field on the Northeast Side. Several of his relatives were charged in his death.
Anaqua Springs Ranch murder-suicide:
A triple-shooting that was later ruled a double-murder suicide rocked the Anaqua Spring Ranch neighborhood in January.
Nichol Olsen, 37 and her two daughters, Alexa Montez, 16, and London Bribiescas, 10, were found dead inside a northwest Bexar County home.
The FBI and Bexar County Sheriff’s Office investigated the shooting, but new information has not come to light.
Kawhi returns to chorus of boos and “traitor” chants:
Kawhi Leonard returned for the first time as a visitor in January and Spurs fans welcomed him with a chorus of boos and “traitor” chants from start to finish.
The Spurs beat the Raptors as Leonard struggled throughout. He then blamed the media for stirring fans emotions. Leonard returned for the first time as a member of the Clippers in November.
Leonard demanded a trade from San Antonio in 2018 after seven seasons with the franchise.
Chucky the K-9 fatally shot:
Chucky, a Bexar County Sheriff’s Office K-9 officer, was fatally shot in late January following a chase.
Chucky was deployed to subdue an armed suspect later identified as Matthew Mireles.
The K-9 bit Mireles and kept him from firing his weapon at someone else or another officer, but was fatally wounded.
A permanent memorial was placed downtown for the slain K-9 officer.
The KSAT-12 Defenders reported extensively this year on embattled former Bexar County Precinct 2 Constable Michelle Barrientes-Vela.
Vela’s time in office was filled with controversy. Federal authorities and the Texas Rangers raided her office in September.
She was forced out of office after she triggered a resign-to-run state law when she fannounced publicly to KSAT first that she would run for the office of Bexar County Sheriff.
Andreen McDonald disappearance:
Andreen McDonald’s remains were found in July, months after she disappeared and was last seen near her home in north Bexar County.
Her husband, Andre McDonald, was indicted in October on murder charges and tampering with evidence in connection with Andreen’s death.
KSAT reported on several details regarding the case and how authorities located Andreen’s remains. She was finally laid to rest on Dec. 7.
Commanders abruptly leave:
The Commanders football team abruptly shut down operations in April.
The Commanders won the city over and were getting good crowds at the Alamodome, but funding for the league simply dried up and reportedly was not there to begin with.
The league suspended operations two months into its inaugural season.
Nirenberg beats Brockhouse in heated mayoral race:
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg outlasted Greg Brockhouse in a contentious race that went to a runoff in early June.
The election was considered to be one of the most divisive in years and drew the largest voter turnout since 2005.
Blue Bell ice cream licker:
One of the biggest viral stories of 2019 was the case of a teen girl who was seen on video licking Blue Bell ice cream in a store, and returning the container to the shelf.
Video of the incident hit social media on June 28. It happened at a Lufkin Walmart and police determined the minor was from San Antonio.
The case was turned over to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.
Tim Duncan returns as coach; Tony Parker retires:
This year marked the official end of the era for the Spurs Big Three.
Tony Parker retired over the summer and his number was raised to the AT&T Center rafters in November.
However, Tim Duncan surprisingly returned to the bench as an assistant coach.
Duncan won five championship and played 19 seasons with the Spurs before retiring in 2016
San Antonio firefighter Garza dies:
San Antonio firefighter Greg Garza died in October after he was struck by a vehicle at the scene of a fire.
Garza was among a group of firefighters who responded to a call for an electrical problem at a hotel when he stumbled while exiting a fire apparatus and was hit by a van. He was 49 years old.
Fire rips through historic Wurstfest building:
A fire ripped through the Wurstfest festival grounds in November, leaving the historic Marktplatz building in ruins.
New Braunfels officials declared the building a total loss. A cause was not immediately known.
Despite the fire, officials said the festival would return in 2020.