Two women murdered miles apart may be connected

Were a 62-year-old Cypress woman and a Willowbrook mattress store manager both murdered by the same person?  Police are looking into that possibility.

Here’s what seems to be a connection in a string of crimes that started with a woman murdered in her own home last week.  Her car was stolen, and a man is seen on video ditching the car in the Willowbrook mall parking lot on Saturday.  The same day and right across the street, a manager in the Mattress Firm on FM 1960 was shot to death inside.

It is anything but business as usual after 28-year-old Mattress Firm manager Allie Barrow was shot to death inside the Willowbrook location on Saturday.

"My God.  So close to home. It’s always things happening around here,” says Delores Aguila, who works nearby.

"It’s scary because I was here. It’s close by us.  I was in shock.  Yesterday I came to work.  I didn’t want to unlock the door.  I was waiting for my co-worker,” explains Noami Perez, who also works in the plaza and has known Barrow for some time.  "She usually comes in for some ice cream and she'll get a drink. She comes early in the morning, she already has her lunch. She’s a sweet and nice lady,” says Perez.

A day before Barrow was shot in the head and killed and four miles away on Friday evening 62-year-old Pamela Johnson, a Kroger grocery store worker, was found murdered, shot in the chest, inside her Cypress home.

"She was a really sweet, kind, giving person who didn’t have a lot but would do anything for anyone,” says Johnson’s neighbor.

Johnson’s maroon PT Cruiser was stolen and found Saturday in the Willowbrook Mall parking lot. Harris County Sheriff’s investigators released video of a man caught by surveillance cameras parking the PT Cruiser.  He walks through the mall and leaves on the opposite side.  The man is on camera around 11:00 a.m.  That’s when Perez arrived at work Saturday and she says she saw the Mattress Firm manager's car.  An hour and half later, Perez says she took out the trash and Barrow’s car was gone.

"I came that way.  Her car was not there because I remember I looked inside wondering who was there.  (Because she’s normally there on Saturdays by herself?)  Everyday, mostly everyday she’s by herself,” says Perez. 

“You get scared when you’re by yourself all day,” Aguila adds. 

Harris County Sheriff’s investigators say the man in the surveillance video is a person of interest wanted for questioning. Detectives have not said the two murders are connected, but they are looking into that possibility.