AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin Police Department Sgt. Ron Lara was a street cop working in East Austin on Dec. 6, 1991, when the call came in that four bodies had been found in a North Austin yogurt shop.
"It was very clear in everybody's mind what happened -- to the extent of how horrific it turned out to be," said Lara.
Several years later, Lara was a member of the original Yogurt Shop Task Force, formed in 1999 to solve the murders.
"The purpose was to slowly look at this case on its own," said Lara.
That investigation kept going back to the original four suspects -- Michael Scott, Robert Springsteen, Forrest Welborn and Maurice Pearce.
All four men were arrested, and Springsteen and Scott confessed to the killings. Pearce and Welborn denied any involvement, and a grand jury declined to indict them. Both Springsteen and Scott were tried and convicted.
But the two men were released from prison in 2009, when new DNA from an unknown man was discovered on vaginal swabs taken from the body of Amy Ayers. Ayers, 13, was the youngest victim in the yogurt shop killings.
"As a unit, we all have to remain flexible enough to understand that there is potentially another person involved, so part of what we do on a daily basis is ensure that we dot all those i's and cross all those t's," said Lara, who is now the Austin Police Department Cold Case Unit sergeant.
Cold case detectives Jerry Bauzon, Angel Hernandez, Richard Faithful and Mark Gilchrest, along with Lara, spend the majority of their time working on the city's only unsolved quadruple homicide.
"As a unit, I think we can speak as a whole, it's probably about 85- to 90 percent of our time because we usually, as a unit, work this case -- as a whole," said Hernandez, who said she and the others are assigned people to interview who may have known the victims or the suspects.
"The case never stops just because certain individuals are arrested," said Lara. "The case continues on, there's still tips coming in."
But if you ask the group for a simple show of hands to answer the question of who believes the original four suspects were involved, everyone raises a hand.
"These four guys, if you know everything we know, they're involved," said Faithful.
One person who likely knows more about this case than anyone else is retired APD Detective Paul Johnson, who still spends his Wednesday mornings at the Cold Case offices -- going over new developments and leads with investigators. Johnson said he believes finding the source of the unknown DNA is the only way to solve the case.
"That could happen today, or we could go through everybody we know and keep testing forever and it may never happen, I don't know," said Johnson, who, like the others, still believes the original four were involved in the crime.
"It was the confessions that made that leap of just knowing who did it to actually having something that you could take them to court on," said Johnson.
The time the Cold Case Unit does not spend on the yogurt shop case is dedicated to Austin's other 140 unsolved homicides.
"We all struggle with balancing all of the cases -- there's not a one of us that doesn't get a phone call once or twice or three times a week from a family member of a case that we haven't been able to look at," said Gilchrest, who added that as long as the leads continue to come in on the yogurt shop case, the department will continue to follow them.
"There are people out there who know exactly what happened -- after 20 years, it's time to come forward and tell us," he said. "Of the people who do know, everybody's grown up. They've moved on with their lives. These girls didn't move on with their lives. The families barely are moving on with their lives, so it's time. It's time for somebody to step forward."
There are reminders of the yogurt shop case all over the Cold Case office: a model of the crime scene, files labeled ICBY and most importantly, the faces of the victims on the wall -- Jennifer Harbison and her sister Sarah, along with Eliza Thomas and Amy Ayers.
"Some people don't have anyone speaking for them," said Faithful. "It's us speaking for them -- find out who did it and put them in jail for it."
The freezing and near-freezing rain that swooped into Central Texas overnight prompted numerous school closings and delays and made for a harrowing morning commute on Friday.
A man is expected to survive after being stabbed in the head at the Salvation Army shelter in Downtown Austin at about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
Investigators are looking into an overnight fire that left one woman with third-degree burns.
Caldwell County residents gathered Thursday evening to organize their fight against a proposed landfill that they say poses a hazard that they don't need.
The pastor of the Austin church attended by the teacher who was killed Thursday in Benghazi remembered him as a spiritual friend dedicated to improving the lives of others.
As the Austin area prepares itself for an impending winter storm on Friday, Dec. 6, many schools have already announced delays.