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Sister of murdered Garden Ridge store clerk fighting for answers one year later

Det. Keith Osborn is meeting with Pam Smotherman's family at least once a month to provide updates on the investigation. The suspect has yet to be identified.

GARDEN RIDGE, Texas — The question of who killed a Garden Ridge convenient store clerk beloved by many, remains unanswered one year later.

Law enforcement continues to investigate the murder of Pam Smotherman, 40, of Cibolo, who was shot dead in the early morning hours of July 29, 2020.

“Everyone that knew her loved her. She didn’t have an enemy.
 said Harriett Rehman, Smotherman’s sister.

Surveillance video released by Garden Ridge police, shows a masked-man with a gun entering the E-Z Mart at 19501 FM 2552.

The man proceeds to pressure Smotherman at gun-point to retrieve money and lottery tickets.

Smotherman appears to comply but at some point, she is shot and killed.

The surveillance footage does not show the moment Smotherman was shot or what prompted the action.

The suspect is then shown running outside the store with a tote bag.

“She was murdered but why and how it happened, we don’t know. She was doing her job. She didn’t do anything wrong to anybody,” Rehman said.

Smotherman’s mother hung a flowery wreath outside the E-Z Mart on the one-year mark of her daughter’s murder.

Rehman just returned from a months-long nursing assignment hoping for answers. She’s getting impatient with the lack of progress in the investigation.

“My family and I feel – a lot of it not that she’s been forgotten but feel a little helpless in the sense there’s nothing that can be done,” Rehman said.

The Garden Ridge Police Department remains the leading investigating agency.

Smotherman’s death has struck the hearts of the community including police detective Keith Osborn who made frequent trips to the E-Z Mart where Smotherman worked.

“I was a regular customer at the store just like a lot of people in the community. She was a sweet lady. I enjoyed talking to her and everything whenever we went in,” Osborn said.

Smotherman’s family has been in contact with Osborn at least once a month, discussing the latest updates in the investigation.  

Osborn noted all of the tips that have come in from the community so far have not led to identifying the murder suspect shown in the surveillance video.

“This case is not going to rest. This case will always be looked at until we bring the killer to justice,” Osborn said.

Rehman aspires to help draft legislation to limit the hours of operation at gas station convenience stores in Texas.

She hopes such legislation would prevent another tragedy from happening again.

Meanwhile, Rehman is optimistic Pam Smotherman’s killer will be caught one day.

“Whether it’s today, tomorrow, a month or 10 years, he’s spoken to somebody, somebody knows him,” Rehman said.

Comal County Crime Stoppers is offering an up to $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in Smotherman’s murder.

Crime Stoppers can be reached at 830-620-8477.

Those with information can also call Garden Ridge police at 210-651-6441.

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