Johnny Perez’s family speaks on investigation

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 7:02 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Friday marks one year since 22-year-old Johnny Perez was found murdered in his Wichita Falls apartment. The crime remains unsolved.

Wichita Falls Police Department PIO Sgt. Charlie Eipper said he’s very confident that they’ll find justice for Perez.

“I’d like to say to the person or people responsible, what you did was wrong,” John Paul Gelacio, Perez’s uncle, said. “What you did was cowardly and justice will be served and God’s justice will prevail.”

Perez was murdered a year ago. His mother found him shot to death in his apartment. On Thursday, friends and family held a memorial to honor his memory and pay tribute to others who lost their lives to gun violence.

“To honor the memory of Johnny and honor those families, also along with ours who have experienced this, the loss of a loved one due to gun violence,” Gelacio said.

Gelacio said WFPD sat down with their family to explain the process of the investigation and to reassure them that they are still searching for answers.

“Knowing that they’re diligently working on every case that comes in and how it’s not just set aside,” Gelacio said. “We left that meeting understanding that there’s that process is still on going.”

“It becomes a part of pride that you have that you want to solve this case for the victim and the family,” Eipper said. “So you take it home, it’s not something you just leave in the office. We’re always thinking about it.”

Though it’s been a year, Eipper said this case is no where near becoming a cold case.

“We’re a year into the investigation,” Eipper said. “It seems to be a long time but we’ve got some that are much longer. We’ve got a great team of detectives I think they’re some of the best in the nation and they’re going to work this thing.”

Gelacio said a month before his murder, Perez decided to turn his life around and give his life to Jesus. A move his his family was proud of.

If you have any information on this crime, WFPD is encouraging citizens to report any tips to Wichita Falls Crime Stoppers at (940) 322-9888. Long-distance callers should dial 1-800-322-9888. You can also use the P3 Tips app on your mobile device or visit their website here, or call the WFPD non-emergency number at (940) 720-5000.

As always with Crime Stoppers, you never have to leave your name, and you could earn a cash reward if your tip leads to an arrest and board approval.

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