Lorraine Diaz's cold case murder solved 6 years later by Fort Bend County
FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas - After six years a family has justice for the murder of their loved one back in 2017.
Lorraine Diaz was a 21-year-old out of Houston and the mother of two when she was found in a burned car. On Jan. 11, 2017, around 1:42 a.m., Fort Bend County Sheriff's deputies responded to a burning vehicle in a rural road off FM 762 in Richmond neat George Ranch High School.
PREVIOUS STORY: Mother of 2 found in burning car identified, historic reward amount offered
Once officials put the fire out, police found Diaz's body in the trunk of the car. She wasn't identified until April.
Back in 2017, FBSCO Detective Justin White said, "When deputies arrived on location, the vehicle was fully engulfed and the fire department was there to extinguish the fire," he explained. He also said Diaz was killed before the fire was set and he believed she was murdered by someone she knew. "During that process they observed the body of a burned human being inside the vehicle."
FBCSO investigators, supported by the Texas Rangers, reopened the case. They saw a break in the case in the fall of 2022 when they found more information that led to the arrest of Johnny Minh Dang, 33. Dang was considered a prime suspect early on, but officials say they didn't have sufficient evidence to charge him with the crime.
"This was an especially brutal murder of a young woman," said FBCSO Detective Scott Minyard. "I am extremely thankful for the diligent efforts by detectives originally assigned to this case and our Texas Ranger partners, Ranger Pete Luna and Ranger James Wilkins."
RELATED: Gang member sentenced to 25 years for murder over $40
Reports say Dang was arrested on Nov. 29 and remains in custody at Fort Bend County Jail on a $500,000 bond. He is charged with first-degree murder and is expected to have additional charges.
"Our detectives and our Texas Ranger partners worked tirelessly to solve this cold case," said Sheriff Eric Fagan. "They never gave up, and their persistence ultimately led up to identifying and arresting the suspect of this heinous crime."