By Don McAlavy: CNJ Columnist
A woman living alone with her front and back door unlocked in a secluded area is surely in danger in any part of the world today. Clovis is a quiet town usually, but murder is no stranger to Clovis.
The murder of Mildred Reagan is a real mystery because her killer has never been arrested and the case never solved as far as I know. Kind of scary, isn’t it?
Sometime between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Mildred Reagan, a widow, age 64, was last seen alive. That was on Tuesday before her body was discovered by a couple of Realtors at 10:44 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11, 1981 and notified the police. No one in the neighborhood had a clue, nor saw anything. The police speculated she had died on Tuesday or Wednesday. Items in the house were out of order and suggested the possibility that she was a victim of a burglar. Her body was found lying on the den floor. All she had for protection was a white toy poodle. It did not help its master. The white toy poodle lived in that house possibly two days without food or water. It ate on what it could find on the floor — the face of the dead victim.
An autopsy showed she had been “manually strangled” to death. The entire detective force, including policemen in uniform, and the sheriff’s department and the district attorney and his assistant worked around the clock on this case. Finally a $2,000 reward was offered by the Curry County and New Mexico Crime Stoppers. No one collected that reward and no one was ever arrested.
Why? It has been said that not enough evidence could be collected to bring the killer to justice. Mildred’s husband, Ely Reagan, had died the preceding February. Daisy Mildred Reagan was born Oct. 5, 1915, at Guymon, Okla., and married Eli Reagan on July 16, 1937, at Hollis, Okla. Mildred had been a resident of Clovis for 13 years.
A funeral was conducted at the First Assembly of God Church in Clovis and burial was in the Tucumcari cemetery. Mildred was survived by a son, three sisters, one brother, and four grandchildren. It had been said the family was very much concerned that the slaying of this loved one had never been solved. The statute of limitations runs out on many crimes, but in the case of a murder the statute of limitations never runs out.
Another unsolved killing in Clovis is that of of J. C. Tucker, who was at his work area at Portair on Sept. 4, 2003.
It’s a shame if these killings are never solved.
Don McAlavy is Curry County’s historian. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org