A 19-YEAR-OLD COLLEGE STUDENT'S SNACK STOP TURNS TRAGIC,
ON ABC NEWS' "PRIMETIME: CRIME," WEDNESDAY, JULY 8
On September 25, 2007, Melanie Goodwin was a college sophomore making one last stop at a convenience store before heading back to campus. But her simple stop to pick up a snack for her boyfriend turned horrific when she encountered a stranger who quietly followed her out the door. Later that morning, as Melanie was missing, miles away a body was found in a ditch burned beyond recognition. Melanie would be identified as the victim in the ditch; she'd been raped and strangled before being set on fire. How would authorities find the killer with most of the evidence being destroyed by fire? The suspect seemed to cover his tracks, but what he didn't know was that nearly every step of his crime would be caught on tape. Jim Avila unravels the case on "Primetime: Crime," WEDNESDAY, JULY 8 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
A communications major at the University of North Texas, Melanie had a boyfriend, Ale Valencia, with leading-man looks and a heart to match that of the outgoing student actress. The night of her murder, Ale had asked Melanie to stop at the convenience store on her way home from work to get him a late night snack. The convenience store in Denton, Texas, had four full-time cameras watching customers, the registers and even parts of the sidewalk out front. Cameras would give authorities the first of many surveillance clues to the identity of the alleged culprit, Ernesto Reyes. Not only did video show Reyes following Melanie outside to her car, but other surveillance cameras would later show him purchasing the gasoline he used to burn her body and dragging Melanie's body into the woods and setting her on fire. Avila takes viewers through the events that led to her murder, chronicles the police investigation and dramatically follows the trial that ultimately took the killer off the streets.