Longtime WFPD Homicide, Cold Case Detective Retires

- It's a job that's often glamorized on popular crime TV shows, but working as a homicide detective takes countless long days, many sleepless nights, and a lot of sacrifice and dedication.

And that's all something Wichita Falls Police Department Detective Tony Fox knows well.

"I always wanted to be a detective," Fox says.

He's spent his most recent years with the department investigating and solving homicides, including those cases that went unsolved for many years.

"There are some children's cases that stick with you, of course," Fox says. "Isabella Comacho, all the detectives worked on [that case], when the baby was killed. The gang murders before, of course, very in depth work and complicated."

One of the cases he says he's most proud he had a hand in was the 1991 murder of Gerald Curley, a Catholic priest and captain at Sheppard Air Force Base.

"It was a long process," Fox says. "We had some DNA evidence at the time. Of course, we didn't have the databases we do now. We also had some fingerprints. Through a print that was on the car, we were able to get a hit on a possible suspect."

After evidence was retested 11 years later, Fox was told to go find Curley's killer in a different state and to not come back until he finished the job.

Fox arrested Ifran Escobedo the next morning.

Escobedo would later confess to the murder and be sentenced to life in prison.

It's that hard work and refusal to give up that Wichita County District Attorney Maureen Shelton says made Fox a tremendous asset to WFPD and to prosecution.

"Tony's been with me for 20 years, investigating cases my whole career," Shelton says. "He's very methodical and very professional. He doesn't rush anything. If the evidence wasn't there, he didn't file the case, and if it was, he filed the case and saw it to the end. We're going to miss him terribly."

And that's the legacy Fox hoped he'd leave behind.

"I was told by and old detective before I started to always do the right thing, don't embarrass the police department, and don't do anything that will keep you up at night," Fox says. "And that's what I've tried to do."

Fox says health problems pushed him into retirement, but he plans to take advantage of the free time, fish a lot, and spend plenty of time with his grandkids.

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