Tip leads to hope in solving Amber Hagerman's murder




Posted on March 7, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 8 at 7:59 PM

ARLINGTON — It's a criminal case that reverberated across America 15 years ago: Amber Hagerman was kidnapped while riding her bike.

The 10-year-old's body was found in an Arlington creek four days later. Her throat had been slashed.

Amber's killer never found, and after all these years, detectives are still assigned to the case.

Now police confirm are working a new lead following a child pornography bust in a small Texas town.

While thousands of leads in the Amber Hagerman case have come and gone, these days investigators get about six tips a year — including a recent one from police in Ennis, where investigators arrested Sharon and Buddy Anderson for allegedly creating child pornography.

"We've got close to 200 VHS tapes," said Ennis police Sgt. Mark Mahoney.

The videos and photos show graphic images of small children and were discovered inside the Andersons' Ennis apartment.

At the same time, investigators also stumbled across a new witness who is now working with Arlington Police.

"We're just feeding them the information," Mahoney said. "Hopefully something we're giving them will help."

Neither police department is discussing the exact nature of the evidence, but Ennis investigators confirm they've contacted police in Arizona, trying to reach a man who used to work in Arlington in the mid 90s.

Amber's mother, Donna Norris, just learned the news over the last few days.

"If you get too excited and too hopeful, it's a lot harder to bring yourself down from that," she said.

This has been a true test of patience for her family — balancing their sorrow with hope for new leads in the unsolved case with a renewed sense of hope that her killer can be brought to justice.

"My daughter fought for her life," Norris said. "I knew she was a hard fighter then, and I'm not going to give up on her. I love her to death; she's my baby; I'll never give up hope — never."

And neither will police.

Arlington still has a detective assigned to the Amber Hagerman case, and we're told he is the one working on this intriguing new lead.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com