‘Seeking a killer’: The cold case murder of Jennifer Delgado

Texas Crime Stories reexamines the murder of Jennifer Delgado 35 years after her death.

A trip to the laundromat turned into a brutal attack for a young girl and her mother.

After 35 years there are still no answers to who stabbed them.

This is Texas Crime Stories, the cold case murder of Jennifer Delgado.

June 6, 1988

It was a hot June Day in 1988 when 7-year-old Jennifer Delgado and her mother crossed the street from their home and went to Westrock Coin-Op Wash and Dry to do laundry.

Jennifer’s dad was at home with the rest of the kids.

She and her mom were talking about summer plans when a man walked into the laundromat and went over to the vending machine.

He put money inside, but nothing came back out. The man was enraged.

He turned that anger on Jennifer and her mother, charging at them in an instant.

The man stabbed Jennifer’s mom in the shoulder. She yelled for Jennifer to leave but before she could, the man stabbed Jennifer in the stomach.

One of Jennifer’s former classmates Christopher Palmer has followed this story for three decades.

“She runs home. She collapses in her front yard at the end, and they take her to the hospital. From there, 3 hours later, you know, trying to work to revive her and save her, they were unable to save her. Her mother survived,” Palmer said. “It was at the end of our third-grade year, you know, I knew she was gone. But at that age, I don’t think I fully comprehended the finality of her life.”

After the man stabbed both Jennifer and her mom, San Antonio police say he jumped into a silver Honda driven by another man.

Jennifer’s mom survived the attack and was able to give police a sketch of the man who killed her little girl.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened, period. But to happen at that time where there weren’t security cameras in the laundromat, there wasn’t a camera, traffic cameras, all these things that maybe today had it happened, we might be able to get a better idea or find the individual that did this,” Palmer said. “Unfortunately, what little evidence they have, they said at this point, it’s going to take someone coming forward with some information to get this case solved.”

Jennifer’s case turns cold

According to SAPD, Jennifer’s case has turned into a cold case.

There have been two sketches released based on Jennifer’s mom’s description of the man who stabbed her.

The suspect is described as a white male around 17 or 18 years old in 1988, about 5′2″, slender build with dark wavy hair, wearing a white-flowered Hawaiian shirt on that day.

If you have information that might be useful, please call the San Antonio Police Department Cold Case Tip Line anytime day or night at (210) 207-7401, or you can call (210) 207-7635 or (210) 207-7484, or call Crime Stoppers at (210) 224-STOP.

“Who knows if someone all these years later, maybe they knew something, they were scared to talk, then maybe they can talk now. And with a $25,000 reward, maybe that would bring forth some new leads. So we’re hoping,” Palmer said.

Jennifer Sue Delgado Foundation

Palmer started the Jennifer Sue Delgado Foundation to honor the child’s memory and share information about who she was, and stories about her.

He’s also organized a vigil for Jennifer with some of her former classmates.

“Thirteen years after her murder, which would have been, I think, 2001, I gathered some of our classmates together. We held a candlelight vigil at the site where she was murdered,” Palmer said.

Then in 2021, he began raising money to support efforts to rename a portion of the roadway in her honor. This year, those efforts were successful and the street was renamed ‘Jennifer Sue Delgado Memorial Way.’

“We got the fund, it got approved by City Council, and they were put up in June of 2022. And on the 34th anniversary of her death, we had a small dedication out there for the site. I also had learned that our old elementary school opened up a new wing last year, and so I raised some funds. I talked to the principal and he had no idea of what had happened because he’d only been there a few years at that school. And I said, can we put a small plaque in the new building, you know, show a picture of Jennifer? And he’s like, yeah, sure. You know, he got district approval,” Palmer said. “It was, I believe, 2020 when I said, you know, I really want to do something more permanent to honor her.”

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About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.