A Mexican national wanted in connection with the 1983 murder of an Austin, Texas, woman is now on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list. Officials offered a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to his capture.
Robert Francis Van Wisse is wanted by the State of Texas in connection to the 1983 murder of a woman working as a janitor at the University of Texas in Austin, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from the FBI office in San Antonio. Van Wisse, now 51, was 19-years-old at the time of the alleged murder. He was a student at the university and was reportedly the last person seen in the area before the woman was killed.
“No matter how much time has passed,” Special Agent Justin Noble, a member of the FBI’s Central Texas Violent Crimes Task Force in Austin who is investigating the case, said in a written statement, “it’s important that we finally get justice for the victim and her family.”
The young woman’s body was found in a rest room in the building where Van Wisse had been seen registering for a class the night before. An autopsy performed by Travis County officials revealed the woman had been sexually assaulted. She was then strangled with a wire.
Investigators determined that Van Wisse was the last person seen in the building before the murder, the FBI statement reported. “He was initially ruled out as a suspect because DNA and other tests were not as sophisticated then as they are today,” Noble stated.
After sitting cold for about a decade, investigators with the Austin Police Department ran new DNA tests on the evidence gathered at the crime scene. Using the latest technology available in the 1990s, “the results pointed directly to Van Wisse,” Agent Noble reported.
After learning he was once again a suspect in the murder, Van Wisse reportedly fled. Prosecutors in Travis County formally charged him with capital murder in 1996. When it became apparent Van Wisse had fled the jurisdiction, the FBI filed charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Noble described Van Wisse as “a college student whose parents were both professionals.”
“He grew up going to the best schools and living in the nicest neighborhood. He had the future in front of him,” Noble added, “and yet it appears he murdered a young woman making minimum wage trying to support her family and young child.”
Van Wisse was born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1965, according to a wanted poster released by the FBI this week. FBI officials stated they believe he may be living in Mexico. “He may be employed in the medical field, or he could be working on a coconut and banana plantation,” the information on the poster states.
“He’s a smart guy and he’s bilingual,” Noble said of the fugitive. “He could be anywhere.”
“We have also identified more than 30 individuals who have had close ties to Van Wisse,” Noble said, “and we are going to be in contact with all of them. Somebody knows something, and $100,000 is a lot of money.”
Tips to the FBI can be made on an anonymous basis.
“We need to catch this guy,” the FBI agent stated. “The victim and her family deserve nothing less. It doesn’t matter that the murder took place more than three decades ago—to the victim’s family, it was like it was yesterday.”