AUSTIN (KXAN) — Legislation inspired by the murder of four Austin teenagers in 1991 has passed the Senate and will head to President Biden to sign into law, according to a release from U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.
The Homicide Victims’ Families’ Rights Act will require federal agencies to revisit cold case murder files and apply new technologies in search of potential breakthroughs, the release said.
It’s been more than 30 years since the quadruple murder at a north Austin yogurt shop that claimed the lives of four teenage girls. Three decades on, questions remain in the unsolved mystery of who killed teenagers Amy Ayers, Jennifer Harbison and her sister Sarah, and Eliza Thomas.
The bill would also empower immediate family members to request a cold case review so long as it meets certain basic criteria. Federal law enforcement agencies would be required to provide annual reports to Congress on what is working and not working with cold case reviews, the release said.
Cornyn co-sponsored the legislation with Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and John Kennedy (R-LA).