Galveston woman hopes to reopen case into her mother's murder 30 years ago

For nearly 30 years, Amanda Ponder has been searching for answers into her mother’s murder.

Amanda was 4 years old when beach campers found her mother, 24-year-old Lisa Hoban O'Mara's body along the beach in R.A. Apffel Park in Galveston on September 6, 1992.

“I don’t have a lot of memories because I was only four, but I do remember her. The way she smelled, what her hands looked like,” she told FOX 26.

For years, Amanda says she didn’t know what had happened to mother. Until one day, she found an article from the Galveston Daily News.

“I was 9. I was digging through my grandma’s stuff and, well, it was in a folder, [inside I] found the newspaper article,” she remembered.

The article read that O’Mara’s body was so severely beaten, investigators had to identify her by her tattoos. It added, “there are no witnesses and police said they do not have a motive.”

However, Amanda is convinced someone knows what happened.

“Galveston is so small. Like, everyone knows everyone. Somebody knows something,” she added.

Amanda remembers the first time she asked the Galveston Police Department for answers, when she was only 11. What an officer told her years ago still haunts her.

“[He] said that he could not sleep at night sometimes even still after all [those] years because it was such a gruesome crime,” she recalled.

She’s kept calling through the years but now, she says, she doesn’t hear back.

“I just want the information that’s in the files and to speak to someone to see, like, can we get this case opened back up?” she asked. “It’s almost been 30 years and, it’s just, we have too much technology to not figure out what happened.”

Amanda says she’s the oldest of her siblings and her father passed away about 10 years after her mom was killed. She says he never recovered from his wife’s death.

The Galveston Police Department tells FOX 26 they will check with the criminal investigations unit on Monday and see what happened to this case.