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Katy Realtor Murder Cold Case: 31 Years and Still No Answers


November 6, 2018

Natalie Cook Clark and Katrina Katsarelis

When real estate agent Ester Collins didn't show up at her son Troy's last varsity football game, he knew something was terribly wrong. Today he and his brother hope to break open the stabbing murder case and generate new leads to help find their mother's killer.

On Friday, November 6, 1987, Ester Collins, 35, was working in real estate sales in Katy's Cornerstone subdivision. She worked out of one of the model homes in the 22300 block of Kent Falls, near Mason Road and Highland Knolls helping people buy homes in the new development.

At about 4:30 pm, prospective home buyers discovered her lifeless body in an upstairs bedroom and called the police. Collins had been stabbed to death.

A witness reported seeing a man that looked to her like salesman leaving the office around the time of the murder. According to Ester's family, that suspect was never found or questioned. "All we have ever wanted was answers," says Ester's son Troy Collins, 49, now a commercial real estate agent in Katy.

Another woman had called the office and spoke to Ester earlier that afternoon. The woman wanted to find out when her home warranty's work would be done. Ester told the woman that the work crew was actually in her office and would be there to do the work shortly. That was the last time Ester Collins was heard from.

"I knew something was wrong when she never came to my game," says son Troy. Troy was a senior and was playing in his last football varsity game. He kept watching for his mom to show up in the stands but never did.

After the game, Troy's dad broke the horrible news to him and his younger brother, Shannon who was a sophomore at the time. "I think we all went into shock," says Troy. The crime Investigators reported that the scene was very clean so the initial investigation focused on Ester's ex-husband Jerry Collins (Troy and Shannon's dad). Jerry cooperated fully with investigators and was eventually cleared.

Troy says the investigators were never able to question and clear all of the workmen who reportedly where there that day or locate the man who the witness saw leaving the office. He also reports that they found suspicious activity on Ester's ATM card that was never explained. "All we have ever wanted was answers," said Troy.

About five years ago, the family met with the local cold case investigators, some of which were completely unaware of the case. The family tried to put a lot of pressure on the investigation and hired a private detective to assist in the case. "It really consumed us but we just wanted answers and justice for mom," says Troy.

At the end of the family's big push into the investigation they are only left with more questions than answers. They were told to say their prayers and put it behind them, Troy says. The family blames an initial sloppy investigation that delayed really getting answers.

Several years ago, Troy and Shannon provided DNA to investigators to help rule out their mom's DNA at the crime scene in order to identify her murderer's DNA. They haven't heard any news yet but still have hope.

"We were mamma's boys growing up and she was taken from us," says Troy. "I miss her smile and hugs. She was my mom."

The Harris County Cold Case Squad still lists Ester's case as an active and open investigation. They were not able to comment on the case at this time but said that it was "a huge case for their department and was still being looked into."

Crime Stoppers still has a reward of $5,000 listed for any information that could lead to solving the murder of Ester Collins. If anyone knows any information on this case please contact the Harris County Cold Case Squad at 713-967-5911 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477). The case number for Crime Stoppers is 972536.


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