1983 Austin Murder Victim’s Family Pleads for Public’s Help
AUSTIN – A suspect in a Texas murder case was placed on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list. Authorities said they believe people on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border know where he is.
Robert Francis Van Wisse is accused of sexually assaulting and murdering a 22-year-old woman on the University of Texas at Austin campus in 1983.
Authorities, along with the victim’s family, hope a poster is the key to finally finding him.
Laurie Stout was 22 years old when she was violently murdered. It happened on Sept. 20, 1983.
The young mother was working a late shift, cleaning a building on the UT campus. Van Wisse, a UT student at the time, was the last person seen at the building before the murder.
“He could be anywhere at this point in time. We think by putting him on the top 10 list, whether he’s in Texas or Mexico or New York City, everyone looks at it. We’re going to get millions of eyes on it. We really believe someone knows where he is. They may not necessarily know that he murdered and assaulted a woman, so they may see the picture and realize that a bad guy is in their midst,” FBI Special Agent Christopher Combs said.
Authorities believe Van Wisse could be in Mexico or Guatemala teaching English, and possibly working on coconut and banana plantations or in the medical field.
“We don’t think there’s a place in this world where you can hide,” Combs said.
For Stout’s family, it is their last hope for closure.
Daile Stout grew up without her mother.
“She wasn’t there because somebody took her away from us. And she will not be there to help be buy a wedding dress. She will not be there whenever I have children of my own,” she said.
Stout hopes her family’s plea for justice and the $100,000 reward will help authorities find Van Wisse. The family has questions for him.
“She was such a sweet person, doing a job, working. Why? What could have happened to have him do this to her? We need to know. We need to know why,” Beverly Stout pleaded.
Not a day goes by where Stout’s siblings don’t think of her and wonder if her accused killer will have his day in court.
The FBI said Van Wisse also has several aliases, which are Francisco Salas, Roberto Francisco Salas and Robert Vanwise.
They believe he fled back in the 90s when he found out he was a murder suspect.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.
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