1969 Murder in Panhandle Remains Unsolved, Victim’s Brother Continues to Look for Answers

Elsa Romo Nickell, a 24-year-old woman is brutally murdered in Panhandle, a town of just over 2,400 people.
It happened July 13, 1969.
After almost 50 years, her family and officials have no answers.
“It is hard to believe it has been that long ago and still nothing,” said Jesse Romo, Elsa’s brother.
Her brother Jesse was the one who found her.
“I went back there to turn off the alarm and I found her on the bed and the first thing I did was reach over and turn off the alarm and check to see and she was gone. She was dead,” said Romo.
Elsa had been suffocated.
“I went over next door to the Zamora family and I said, could you call the police, I think somebody came in during the night. I think Elsa is dead, Elsa has been murdered,” added Romo. 
Romo says people were questioned but there was never enough to link one person to her murder.
“There was two people that came to mind right off and those people to this day are still suspects,” said Romo.
When asked if Romo knows who committed the murder, he responded by saying “I think so. 
The Carson County Sheriff’s Office and Panhandle Police Department re-opened the case recently after some photos were found in a previous sheriff’s storage building.
“He had some things from the Sheriff’s office in an old storage building so we ended up with some photographs that we believe are from the Elsa case,” said Carson County Sheriff Loren Brand.
Sace Hardman, the Panhandle Chief of Police added, “We are farther along than we have been, we’ve gotten some new information, we’ve gotten some things come to light. I think there is an end to this case. I don’t know how soon that will happen. It may take another year or two, it may take next week.”
Both agencies say they actively talk to witnesses and continue to get tips on the murder.
“We do believe that at least two of the potential suspects are still living,” said Sheriff Brand. 
For now, Romo says he continues to live with constant reminders of his sister’s death.
“That buzz tore me up, I could not have an alarm clock that buzzed, it had to be a ring,” said Romo.
He hopes one day their family will have justice.
“Somebody, somewhere knows something. Somebody’s conscience will get to them, somebody will have a few drinks Sometime and they will start bragging and that is what we are hoping for,” added Romo.
Sheriff Brand and Chief Hardman say they will continue to work on the case until the Romo family can have answers.
“I think they would just like to know why and if I could answer that question for them, that would make me happier than I could ever be,” said Hardman.
Sheriff Brand adds,  “We owe it to them to do the best we can on the case.”
There is a reward being offered by Amarillo Crime Stoppers for anyone with information on the case.
If you know anything about this murder, contact either the Carson County Sheriff’s Office or Panhandle Police Department.

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