DALLAS -— In 2011, Charles Stobaugh was convicted for the murder of his soon-to-be ex-wife Kathy Stobaugh.
Kathy’s younger brother, Chris Munday, said the moment the verdict came down was a milestone for his family.
“Victory," Munday said. "Justice for Kathy."
Stobaugh spent three years in prison, until an appeals court overturned the conviction on Jan. 30, 2013. News 8 cameras were there the moment he walked out of Denton County Jail on bond.
“To me, that is a slap in the face to the jury, because they worked extremely hard for three weeks," Munday said. "To me, it is a slap in the face for all the hard work that they have done."
Since his sister's disappearance in 2004, Chris Munday, a sworn Fort Worth police officer, has made it his mission to find out what really happened. And he claims to know the answer.
“In my heart, I know that [Charles Stobaugh] did it and the evidence leads to his front door, and even with me checking out all the leads,” Munday said.
A case that is far from black-and-white.
Kathy Stobaugh vanished without a trace from the family farm in 2004. To this day, investigators - from the FBI down to local law enforcement - have found no body, no murder weapon, no witnesses, and no DNA evidence.
Regardless, a Denton jury convicted Charles Stobaugh to 25 years in prison.
His defense immediately appealed, and three years later, the Court of Appeals from the Second District of Texas in Fort Worth overturned the murder conviction. The three-judge decision was unanimous.
It was all laid out in a 174-page opinion written by Justice Sue Walker on January 23, 2014.
In part, she said the evidence is “…insufficient to convince any rational factfinder beyond a reasonable doubt that Charles acted with the requisite [mental elements] necessary to support his conviction for murder.”
“For the appellate court to turn this over is basically saying it is okay to kill someone, as long as you hide the body well enough,” Munday said.
The state is appealing the decision, and Munday said he will live with whatever the court system decides.
“Life goes on, you have to accept that," he said. "If you can’t accept that, you are going to just recreate this over and over again. Cathy is gone and there is nothing I can do about that, so I just have to live my life."
He hasn’t seen his sister in a decade and he said he has peace. While he can’t prove it, he knows his sister is in heaven.