Skip to main content

Hartley: Washington Should Help Solve Husband's Murder

Gov. Rick Perry had the ultimate guest to further his border security message at today's State of the State: the young woman whose husband was apparently murdered by a band of Mexican pirates on Texas' Falcon Lake.

Lead image for this article

Gov. Rick Perry had the ultimate guest to further his border security message at today's State of the State: The young woman whose husband was apparently murdered by a band of Mexican pirates wielding assault rifles on Texas' Falcon Lake.

"I feel Gov. Perry is right alongside what I'm fighting for today — that what happened to David brings some light to what's happening on our border," Tiffany Hartley said in an interview after Perry's speech, which the governor's office invited her to. "These people are killing our citizens." 

Hartley was all over the news this fall after reporting that her husband, David, was shot in the head while the couple rode Jet Skis to take pictures of a small church on the Mexican side of the international lake in South Texas, which spans across portions of Starr and Zapata counties. Hartley told 911 dispatchers that she was too weak to pull her husband to safety, and had been forced to abandon him after the pirates continued to fire in her direction. (His body has not been recovered.)

Mexican authorities have apparently had no breakthroughs in the case, and for a time, investigators appeared to be questioning Hartley's credibility. But then two things happened: an eyewitness came forward, and the lead Mexican police commander on the case was beheaded. 

Now, Hartley's less the subject of scrutiny. Instead, she says, she feels forgotten — and said officials in Washington are not doing enough to solve her husband's murder. She came by herself to the State of the State, and says she's hopeful someone will listen.

"Our federal government needs to stand up and do something," she said, struggling to stay composed. "Obama needs to do something."  

The Texas Tribune Member Drive Fall 2021 banner

Support public-service journalism that’s always free to read.

Yes, I'll donate today