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Reward offered in Comes case

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Ellis County Press Managing Editor
WAXAHACHIE - An anonymous company is offering a $10,000 a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the death of Charity Sue Comes of Ferris.

Ellis County Sheriff Ray Stewart announced the reward by an unnamed Waxahachie firm last Friday afternoon. He asked anyone with information to call Waxahachie Crime Stoppers at (972) 937-7297.

That's not to say Ellis County investigators are without leads or suspects in the murder of the 14-year-old Ferris High freshman whose body was found Sept. 3 on a bank of Red Oak Creek near a popular swimming hole.

'We have a lot of leads and are chasing them down as fast as we can,' Stewart told reporters at Friday's press conference.

Following up on comments made by Bryan Corley, Charity's stepfather, Chief Deputy Charles Sullins said investigators believe Comes was not abducted.

'She was last seen at 3 a.m. outside her home by family members and friends,' Sullins reported. 'She left home on her own.'

Asked by media to clarify his comment, Sullins repeated, 'By family members and friends.'

Investigators also released some information about Ellis County's other possible murder. The skull found by farmer Jack Ratjen, 71, west of Midlothian on Old Fort Worth Road reportedly has no teeth. Without dental records, authorities are hoping to identify the skull by DNA.

Sullins said Deborah Whitson, a nearby 38-year-old woman who has been missing two years, is one of several possible identities.

To see if it's Whitson, Sullins said DNA samples are being tested from her parents, who are both still alive.

DNA testing is expected to take several more weeks before the skull's identity could be determined.

Investigators have searched Ratjen's property for more bones but reportedly found only a couple of fragments, which were sent to the FBI lab to determine if they were human.

'Sixty of us walked that 400 acres shoulder to shoulder,' Sullins said.

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