During the day, Austin’s homeless population is out and about--getting a hot meal, meeting with counselors and sometimes potential employers. However, at night, they are left to the city’s most remote points, often left alone and vulnerable.
Wednesday, Austin police shed little light on the murder of 49-year-old William Roy Greer.
Greer was homeless and investigators say pretty new to the area. Shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday, officers found Greer at the intersection of Cesar Chavez and Colorado Street in a sleeping bag, with obvious trauma to his body.
The homicide comes just weeks after family and friends laid to rest34-year-old Valerie Godoy. Godoy, who was homeless, was found beaten to death in Duncan Park downtown.
“At this point we haven’t connected the two, but we are looking into if these are possibly related,” Sgt. Brian Miller with the Austin Police Department said.
Cynthia Hernandez with the nonprofit Caritas of Austin works directly with APD, the Downtown Austin Alliance and other collaborative groups to prevent crime. They meet monthly to talk about specific problems and identify those who are causing them.
She says those Caritas feeds and helps house are afraid, but often quiet about it.
"People are afraid and we’re here to alleviate that, but it’s unfortunate that that happens,” Hernandez said. “Sometimes they will comment about, ‘Did you hear what happened?’ And you know, ‘I try to stay away from this area.’ So they give certain areas they stay away from. So there is a concern, but they don’t always voice it.”
Anyone with information about Greer’s death is asked to call APD’s Homicide Tip Line at (512) 477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at (512) 472-TIPS.