Tag Archives: Community Losses

Pearland Mourns Loss of K-9 Nancy

MortonThe Pearland Police Department is mourning the loss of retired Detection K9, Nancy.  The 12-year-old Belgian Malinois was the loyal partner and companion of Detective Eric Morton and served the Pearland community from November 2005 until her retirement in early 2014. Nancy was certified for narcotics detection, human tracking and article searches.

“Nancy was loved by everyone around her and she will be sorely missed by the Pearland Police Department, Detective Eric Morton and his family,” said Pearland Chief of Police, J.C. Doyle.

Nancy and Officer Morton are credited with the seizure of more than $1.3 million dollars of illegal narcotics, property and currency. Together, the two were recognized as the 2007 Pearland Police Officer of the Year. She and Officer Morton also assisted with training and investigations for other local law enforcement agencies, including Brazoria and Harris County, Texas Department of Public Safety and the Friendswood Police Department.

In addition to fighting crime, Nancy was a community favorite appearing at countless schools, daycares and community events. The City of Pearland sends condolences to Detective Morton and his family.


Memorial Service for “Buddy” March 31


Pearland mourns the loss of its first Accelerant Detection Canine


Rest easy, Buddy. We’ll take it from here.

The City of Pearland is mourning the loss of their first arson-investigating canine, Buddy.

Buddy and his human, Deputy Fire Marshal Greg Bozdech, have worked more than one hundred arson investigations in Pearland and six surrounding counties.

Buddy, 7, received his five-year service award at the Pearland Fire Department Banquet on Feb. 27. He played a key role during fire prevention presentations at local schools, daycares and public events, reaching countless residents with life saving fire safety messages.

Buddy got suddenly sick on Wednesday (Mar. 9), and Bozdech had to make the heart-wrenching decision to stop Buddy’s suffering on Tuesday (Mar. 15). Buddy had been diagnosed with sudden-onset cancer.

“Greg and Buddy have done great PR for our department, and K9 Buddy will be missed,” said League City Volunteer Firefighter Kevin Kasten. Bozdech and Buddy volunteered for League City for many years.

“I already miss him,” said Bozdech. “It seems to be the little things, like his bed in the corner, that really get to me. He was a great and loyal partner.”

As the firefighters say, “Rest easy, Buddy. We’ll take it from here.”

Pearland loses its first Accelerant Detection Canine


Buddy always had the best seat in the house!

“Buddy,” the first Accelerant Detection Canine used for arson investigations by the Pearland Fire Marshal’s Office, passed away on Tuesday (Mar. 15).

Buddy’s human, Deputy Fire Marshal Greg Bozdech, and Buddy were together for four years.

Buddy passed from rapid onset cancer. The City of Pearland and the Blue Bell Creamery mourns his loss.

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Dr. David Watson Memorial

drwatsonglaregone_20copyDavid Alan Watson passed on the night of January 31, 2016, surrounded by people who loved him. He is survived by his family, friends and the wonderful community he worked so hard to create.

Dr. Watson was both a thinker and a doer. He practiced even more so than he ever preached. As a civil servant and research scientist, he was constantly working to make the world a healthier, more equitable place. His proudest accomplishments, though, were those that involved his four kids. His thirst for knowledge and spirit of perseverance will live on in them.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Adult Reading Center (http://www.adultreadingcenter.org/) or Keep Pearland Beautiful (www.mykpb.org). David definitely had a passion for reading and the environment.

His visitation & life celebration will be held on Friday, February 5, 2016 from 5pm to 7pm at Westside Events Center, at 2150 Country Place Parkway, Pearland, Texas, 77584.

Texas tech student from Pearland stabbed to death outside Lubbock bar



Texas Tech student Zachary Kafer, 20, from Pearland, was stabbed to death outside a bar called Mesquites in Lubbock early Thursday (Jan. 14) morning.

Police were called to the bar in the 2400 block of Broadway Ave. at 1:15 a.m. Police say Kafer had an altercation with John Henry Allen, also 20, when Allen stabbed him multiple times.

A witness helped Kafer’s roommate transport Kafer, who was already unconscious, to the hospital, where he passed away.

According to police, Allen claims that several males, including Kafer, started yelling at him as he sat in his car with a passenger in front of an ATM machine next to the bar. He says one of the men reached in and punched him in the face. Allen then started swinging a knife out the window at the men.

Police say that Allen confessed to the stabbing, and a knife believed to be the murder weapon was recovered in his vehicle.



Police arrested Allen at his nearby apartment. He is being held in the Lubbock County Detention Center with a $500,000 bond.

Pearland loses promising Dawson High School student

By Stacey Glaesmann and Kristi Nix

GrayThe Pearland community lost a promising young man Tuesday (Jan. 12). Joshua Gray, a junior at Dawson High School, was rushed to the hospital after experiencing severe stomach pains. He was in emergency surgery when he passed away.

Gray was an advanced student and was active on the golf team.

Dawson High School counselors are available for students who need to process this loss.

A GoFundMe account has been set up in Gray’s memory. “Josh and his family have been a source of comfort for so many people so many times. Please flood them with your prayers and give what you can,” it reads. To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/5xutgbvn.

Warrants detail events leading up to arrest for deputy’s murder


Deputy Darren Goforth, EOW: 8/28/15

The Harris County District Clerk’s Office has released copies of warrants related to Shannon Miles, the man accused of killing Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth.

The warrants detail the initial search for a suspect in the hours after Goforth was murdered while putting fuel into his patrol vehicle at a station at the corner of West and Telge roads. Goforth, 47, was a 10-year veteran with the sheriff’s office. The husband and father of two was pronounced dead at the scene Friday, Aug. 28.

Miles was first called into suspicion because of his vehicle. Initial questioning led to his admission that he owned a 40 caliber handgun, just like the one that killed Goforth. Finally, confirmation that a handgun found was the same one used to kill Goforth led to Miles’ arrest.

The first of two search warrants released by the Clerk’s Office indicate officers were looking for a firearm.

After first stopping by Miles’ home in the 8400 block of Lake Crystal Drive at 12:38 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, officers saw a red Ford Ranger in the driveway. They asked residents inside about the owner of the vehicle. Although not home at the time, it was confirmed that Miles was the owner.

Miles returned home while officers looked for him inside the home. It is noted in the warrant that officers had verbal permission to search for Miles inside. Miles was then asked about any handguns he owned. He admitted to owning a Smith and Wesson SD40 40 caliber gun. After the search warrant was issued to and signed by Magistrate Joe Licata at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, deputies returned to Miles’ home in northwest Harris County.

The loaded handgun along with two magazines and 34 rounds of ammunition were recovered. It was noted in the warrants that the box containing the ammunition was for 50 rounds and 15 shell cases were found at the crime scene.

A second search warrant, signed later in the afternoon of Aug. 29 by Magistrate Katherine Cabaniss, allowed for the search of various items of clothing and digital devices to determine where Miles was at various times. Among the items seized were six cell phones, a digital camera and three computers.

A final warrant, also signed by Cabaniss on the afternoon of Aug. 29, called for the arrest of Miles for the “felony offense of capital murder of a peace officer.” The arrest warrant was issued at 3:07 p.m. with the arrest being made at Miles’ home at 3:25 p.m.

Among the evidence cited in the warrant requests were:

Video surveillance footage of a man who resembled Miles’ appearance.

An eyewitness account of a man entering a red Ford Ranger pickup truck, including a “distinctive aftermarket trailer hitch.” Miles drove a similar truck.

A Harris County firearms examiner confirmation that the Smith and Wesson SD40 recovered in Miles’ home was the same weapon used to kill Goforth.

Miles is currently being held without bond in the Harris County Jail. His arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 5. His case is assigned to the 208th Criminal Court of Judge Denise Collins.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton has passed away

Photo: Jason Fochtman

Photo: Jason Fochtman

Astros Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton passed away this morning in Houston. He was 88 years old.

Hamilton’s 60 seasons of broadcasting Major League Baseball are second all-time to Vin Scully’s record of 66 seasons. Although he broadcast for other clubs, Hamilton is best known for his long tenure as the radio voice of the Houston Astros. Hamilton joined the Astros radio broadcast team in 1985, and would remain as the primary, play-by-play voice until his retirement following the 2012 season. Following his retirement, Hamilton served as a guest radio commentator for select Astros home games from 2013-15, with his final stint in the booth coming this season on Sunday, June 28, during the Astros-Yankees game at Minute Maid Park.

Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan released the following statement regarding Hamilton’s passing:

“Today, the entire Astros family and many throughout the baseball world are mourning the loss of our friend, Milo Hamilton. For decades, Milo had a special connection with the Houston community, bringing Astros baseball to the cars and homes of fans throughout the great state of Texas and beyond. During his legendary career, we enjoyed the privilege of Milo calling some of the greatest moments in Astros history. In addition to his great work in the booth, Milo was also an outstanding ambassador for Astros baseball, a mantle he carried with a great deal of pride. While we mourn his sad passing, we should also celebrate Milo’s long, wonderful career. He was one of the all-time greats and a true icon whose contributions to the game and beyond will be remembered always.”

The Astros will announce plans to honor Hamilton’s legacy in the near future.

Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Milo Hamilton, the Frick Award-winning Houston Astros broadcaster and team advisor, who was 88:

“During his 60 years covering our game, Milo became one of the National Pastime’s most distinguished announcers, serving seven different Major League Clubs. He chronicled some of our game’s most historic moments during the era of Hank Aaron, Stan Musial and Ernie Banks. As ‘The Voice of the Astros’ since 1985, he ushered into the homes of fans Houston’s first World Series appearance, the Hall of Fame careers of Nolan Ryan and Craig Biggio, and countless other memories.

“I enjoyed spending time with Milo during my trip to Houston earlier in this resurgent season for the Astros, and it was a pleasure to correspond with him in recent months. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Milo’s family, friends, admirers throughout the game and to all Astros fans.”

Prior to arriving in Houston, Hamilton’s Major League broadcasting career included stints with St. Louis, the Chicago Cubs and White Sox, Atlanta and Pittsburgh.

Globally, Hamilton is widely-known for his radio call of Hank Aaron’s historic 715th home run on April 8, 1974, while serving as the Braves play-by-play announcer. Hamilton and Aaron had a special bond that remained intact long after he left the Braves organization. When the Astros honored Hamilton’s career with a special night in 2012, Aaron made the trip to Houston to speak at the event.

Other highlights from Hamilton’s illustrious career include calling 11 no-hitters and serving as the play-by-play announcer for the 1979 World Champion Pirates ballclub.

Calls from his Astros career that are immortalized in franchise history include Nolan Ryan’s 4,000th career strikeout, Craig Biggio’s 3,000th hit, Chris Burke’s historic, 18th-inning walkoff home run in Game 4 of the 2005 National League Division Series and the Astros pennant -winning, Game 6 victory at St. Louis in the 2005 NLCS. Hamilton also called the Astros record-setting, six-pitcher no-hitter at Yankee Stadium in 2003.

In 1992, Hamilton received the broadcasting industry’s highest honor, receiving the Ford C. Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Overall, he was inducted in to six Halls of Fame during his illustrious career. In 2009, in honor of his 25th season in Houston, a street outside Minute Maid Park was renamed Milo Hamilton Way by the City of Houston. Later that year, Hamilton was named “King of Baseball” by Minor League Baseball at the Annual MLB Winter Meetings.

Outside the broadcast booth, Hamilton became known for his fine work as a master of ceremonies at Astros-related events and celebrations, including several pregame, player retirement ceremonies. He also served as the host of the Astros Opening Day ceremonies each year, even taking part in the 2015 Opening Day festivities in a reduced role.

For many years, Hamilton also served as the host of the Astros long-running, offseason radio talk show, Astroline, which he hosted up until 2014. Hamilton was also a staple on the Astros Winter Caravan each season, entertaining fans at dozens of locations, with stops as far as Corpus Christi.

“We were extremely fortunate to have Milo as a part of our organization,” said Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane. “An entire generation of Astros fans grew up listening to Milo. He truly is an icon and was synonymous with Astros baseball for many years. Milo was a great asset not only for the Astros, but also for the City of Houston as well.”

Thousands turn out as Deputy Darren Goforth is laid to rest

Jason Fochtman

Photo: Jason Fochtman

It was a somber occasion as people lined up to pay their respects to slain Deputy Darren Goforth.

More than 11,000 people filled the sanctuary and overflow areas at Second Baptist Church on Friday morning. An estimated 20,000 people were outside the church and in the Spring Branch area to show their respect to the 10-year veteran Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was gunned down last Friday night while refueling his vehicle at a gas station in Cypress.

Once the greeting, scripture and prayer were given, remarks were made by Sheriff Ron Hickman, Houston Police Department Lt. Roland de Los Santos and Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Shannon Bowdoin.

“This is a loss suffered from our community,” Hickman said. “There’s no telling how many lives were touched by [Deputy] Darren.”

Goforth’s childhood friend, De Los Santos spoke highly of the fallen deputy.

“[Darren] was a good person who was a hard worker and self-sufficient,” said De Los Santos. He described Goforth as a family man with a great sense of humor and who enjoyed fixing cars.

Law enforcement personnel sat with public officials in the church, their badges representing different agencies nationwide, coast-to-coast. Blue lighting filled the room and lit up the walls in honor of policemen who wear their blue uniform to service their communities. A sea of people wearing blue was seen from the parking to the inside of the church.

Dr. H. Edwin Young delivered the message and closing prayer.

In his closing remarks, De Los Santos informed the attendees that Goforth recently bought Captain America shirts so that he and his son could wear them together. Goforth did not get a chance to wear the shirt with his son. At the funeral, his son wore the shirt and his dad wore his under the uniform in which he is now buried.

“He has gone to be better place, but his life wasn’t a tragedy [It] was a victory because he brought so many people together. It is making a big impact and a difference,” said HCSO Deputy Willie M. Drew Jr. “I think it’s going to be a time of healing, but we are still going to be there for the community.”

Goforth, 47, leaves behind a wife and two children. Following the funeral service, internment was at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Shannon Miles, 30, has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the case. He is currently being held without bond in the Harris County Jail awaiting his next court appearance.