Forty-three years later, police arrested 70-year-old Roberto Lopez as a suspect in the murder of Alice police officer Matthew (Matt) Murphy who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Dec. 1, 1974.
On Wednesday, Laredo Cold Case Texas Ranger Nathaniel Mutz, Alice Police Chief Rex Ramon and Alice Police Department Sgt. Aniceto Perez traveled to Alabama to serve the arrest warrant on the capital murder of Officer Murphy.
According to court documents, Lopez shot and killed Murphy while on duty as an Alice police officer on Dec. 1, 1974. The documents state that Lopez knew Murphy was a police officer at the time of the shooting.
Lopez is incarcerated at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville, Alabama. He is doing life for an armed robbery charge. He also has several alias which include Robert Ramos Jr., Roberto Lopez Ramos and Roberto Ramos Ramirez.
Forty-three years after Murphy's death, Mutz with the assistance of Alice PD picked up the cold case and throughly examined cold case files and the evidence before them.
According to Alice Echo News original story in 1974, Murphy, 33 at the time, was shot and killed during a traffic stop at West Main Street and U.S. Highway 281 in Alice. Murphy had been a member of the Alice PD for three years before the incident.
Murphy, according to former Police Chief Randy Weems, was searching for a vehicle with narcotics that was passing through town when he conducted a traffic stop with a possible yellow vehicle.
Another officer found Murphy suffering from four gunshot wounds after the initial traffic stop. Murphy was transported to a local hospital, where he later died in the emergency room at the old Alice P&S Hospital.
The 70-year-old suspect had been interviewed by investigators before - once under former Alice Police Chief Jack Compton between 1993 and 1995, and recently by Chief Ramon.
According to Chief Ramon and other police officials, Chief Compton received a letter from a Alabama prison warden that stated a "jail house snitch" had released information about the shooting death of an Alice officer; which prompted the investigation.
According to Weems, when he reviewed the evidence Lopez had allegedly been involved in a robbery in a nearby town and stole a gun matching the caliber used in Murphy's shooting. An autopsy by the medical examiner recovered four .22 caliber bullets from Officer Murphy's body, according to court documents. The bullets hit several major organs.
Murphy left behind a wife, a son, and a daughter. His family is expected to be at a press conference by Alice PD on Monday.