By LeaAnne Klentzman
A 10 year old missing person case finally comes to a close with the conviction of a former friend and classmate. In August of 2011, Missouri City Police were working on cold case files. During their investigation of the disappearance of Christopher Allen Daigle, then 17, they discovered that he was actually a homicide victim.
It all began in November of 2002 when Christopher Allen Daigle of Missouri City went missing. At the time of his disappearance he was presumed to have been a runaway. However, in 2011 when Missouri City detectives reopened the old case with a fresh perspective, more information was developed. Almost right away the detective working the case hit pay dirt when he interviewed one of the last people listed as having seen Daigle before his disappearance.
Reports indicated that Daigle, and some friends traveled to far southeast Fort Bend County, near Brazoria County to party. During that outing Daigle was killed. Further investigation led police and sheriff’s authorities to the old original crime scene where Daigle was reportedly murdered.
As police probed, they discovered human bones that were eventually linked to Christopher Daigle. Back in 2002, the missing person case was filed in Missouri City where the teen lived but the murder scene was in Fort Bend County Sheriff’s jurisdiction.
Missouri City’s investigation led authorities to obtain a murder warrant on Aug. 12, 2011, for Richard Mendoza, 26, of Fresno, in connection with the incident. At the time of Mendoza’s arrest police said the murder was based on teenage jealousy.
The next twist in this case came 90 days after Mendoza’s arrest when a Fort Bend prosecutor failed to file the proper paperwork to get the case before the Grand Jury for an indictment so the Fort Bend District Attorney’s Office had no choice but to release Mendoza from jail. Mendoza posted bond and was released from jail wearing a satellite monitoring device; he was indicted shortly thereafter and rearrested.
Over the last few weeks Mendoza has been on trial for what amounts to the rest of his life. After weeks of trial and hours of deliberation, Richard Mendoza was convicted for the 2002 shotgun slaying of classmate and buddy Christopher Allen Daigle in the dark rural back roads of far east Fort Bend County.
Testimony in the punishment phase of the trial to determine Mendoza’s sentence began on Friday.
At press time the “Star” has learned Richard Mendoza received 50 years for the murder of Christopher Allen Daigle.