New Information Could Link Derrick Todd Lee To Yet Another Murder

Published: Oct. 19, 2004 at 10:51 PM CDT|Updated: Dec. 16, 2009 at 10:57 PM CST
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Connie Warner
Connie Warner

The 1992 murder of Connie Warner remains unsolved. Now after 12 years, an old witness is coming forward and publicly revealing information that could link convicted serial killer Derrick Todd Lee to Warner's murder. WAFB's Jennifer Hale has the exclusive.

Now that Derrick Lee has been sentenced to death, the old boyfriend of Connie Warner's daughter is publicly explaining his story: how he saw a man watching Warner's house on multiple occassions just before her death -- a man who looks just like Derrick Lee. Andre Burgos says he thinks police never took him seriously back then because he was the case's prime suspect.

Andre Burgos and Connie's daughter Tracey were high school sweethearts. In August 1992, Burgos became suspicious of a black stranger he kept seeing outside the Warner home. On Friday, August 21st, Burgos came to pick Tracey up for LSU's orientation weekend and decided to confront the man.

"This time, I drove up to him and asked him what was up. He mumbled a few curse words and walked away," said Burgos.

Connie Warner was nowhere to be found when her daughter returned home Sunday, August 23rd. In September, her nude body was discovered in a drainage ditch. Burgos says he tried to tell police about the suspicious stranger.

"It was really bad - the whole time I tried to tell them, they kept saying you're just trying to pin this on someone else. We know you did this," said Burgos.

Close relatives and friends are often the immediate suspects in a murder. Beyond that, Burgos says being teenagers, he and Tracey sometimes bent some of the rules Warner established. So when police questioned the two teens, their stories didn't immediately add up.

Years later, after Burgos was cleared, he finally put a name with the face. After Derrick Lee was arrested for the serial killings, media outlets dug up old pictures from Lee's past.

Burgos recalled, "When I walked by the news stand and saw the picture, it was like I was seeing a ghost. I was seeing the picture I'd had in my head for so long."

Burgos has never given an official description of the man he saw in Warner's neighborhood -- the same neighborhood where Lee is charged with killing nurse Randi Mebruer.

New detectives are now working the Connie Warner case and beginning to comb through old evidence for new clues. Chief Joey Watson says they're investigating any new information they can find but says fresh, realistic evidence is slow-coming given the case's age.