Travis County Cold Case: Body of Ruth Elizabeth Bettis Found in Austin Field

AUSTIN, TX – Forty years ago, the body of 19-year-old dancer Ruth Elizabeth Bettis was discovered in a field in Travis County. Her tragic murder remains unsolved, haunting her family and friends to this day.

KVUE recently spoke with Katherine Bettis, Elizabeth’s older sister, who vividly recalled the heartbreaking moment she learned of her sister’s death. The news shattered Katherine, leaving her world in darkness as she processed the loss of her beloved sibling.

Described as special, likeable, and beautiful, Elizabeth—known to many as “Liz” or “Elizabeth”—was a dancer at Sugar’s, a gentlemen’s club in Austin. Despite the challenges she faced, Elizabeth pursued her job to support herself, dancing under the name “Gibson.”

On the fateful night of November 25, 1982, witnesses reported seeing Elizabeth entering her light blue 1969 Volkswagen Beetle with an unknown man after her shift. Tragically, Elizabeth’s body was discovered the following Thanksgiving in an area off Sprinkle Cutoff Road, with signs of violence indicating a horrific end to her life.

Authorities continue to search for answers, with Detective Javier Hernandez from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office emphasizing the importance of new leads. Despite interviewing over 200 individuals and considering potential suspects, the case remains unsolved, leaving Katherine and her family yearning for closure and justice.

As the years pass, the pain of Elizabeth’s loss persists, with Katherine appealing to anyone with information to come forward. The unresolved case serves as a reminder of the brutality that stole a young life and the importance of seeking justice for Elizabeth Bettis.

Anyone with information regarding the case is urged to contact the TCSO tip line at 512-854-1444 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-8477. Tips can be submitted anonymously, with the possibility of a reward for information leading to an arrest. Let us not forget Ruth Elizabeth Bettis and the pursuit of justice that she deserves.