Survivor of heinous attack where girlfriend was killed speaks out 10 years later

PORTLAND, Texas – Ten years ago Thursday morning, the bodies of two young women were discovered in brush along a trail in Portland, Texas. Nineteen-year-old Mollie Olgin was found dead. Eighteen-year-old Kristene Chapa was clinging to life. Both teens had been shot in the head.

The night before, on June 22, 2012, the couple had planned to go to the movies, but for whatever reason did not make it. Instead, Mollie wanted to show Kristene the spot where she was baptized. Kristene said she had a gut-wrenching feeling about going on the walk. It was late. Violet Andrews Park, situated on the banks of Corpus Christi Bay, is a favorite for outdoor recreationists, including birdwatchers, but at the time, it was dark.

As beautiful of a spot as this park might be, it is forever dark for some as it changed lives forever.

“It’s a bittersweet moment because Mollie passed away here,” explained Kristene Chapa.

Talking to KPRC 2’s Zach Lashway, Kristene revisits the park where her girlfriend was murdered. Kristene was also shot and raped.

“I remember everything that happened that night,” said Kristene. “I had this horrible feeling in my stomach.”

Standing in the spot where the crimes happened, Kristene pointed to the spot where 19-year-old Mollie was shot and killed. Kristene said she was clinging to life and would be found the morning of June 23.

“We actually were both leaning right here. Mollie had sat up right here, I was leaning up against here on this spot. It all happened so fast. He took us beneath the overlook and then it seemed like forever there. We actually both had tripped, and I remember the last words we had said to one another was, ‘Are you ok?’ Both of us, and that was the last thing. He forced me to duct tape mine and Mollie’s eyes and mouth. He raped me, and he shot Mollie and I both in the head,” explained Kristene.

Investigators believe the assault and shootings took place just before midnight.

“I blacked out for a little bit. I don’t know for how long, but I did wake up in the middle of the night. I knew something was wrong right away. My left side felt funny, and I just kept fighting. I tried to get up and get help. And I couldn’t, I kept falling back down,” Kristene said.

Hours went by. The night turned into day.

“The morning we were found, there were no birds, and the bird watchers knew something was wrong right away and that’s what led them to us,” said Kristene.

At the time, Mollie had passed. Kristene was still alive. She would spend several weeks in the hospital.

“I wasn’t able to speak. I was using sign language, but nobody was understanding me, so they had a notepad. I was writing everything down for them and my sister says I told her I was sexually assaulted,” explained Kristene. “After the shooting, it affected the whole side of my left side, that includes my face. Yes, I am up and walking, I can walk around, I still struggle getting around places... I have field cuts in both my eyes. I am missing peripherals, so I am not able to drive myself around. I am hard of hearing now, so I will never be independent again.”

Initially, this incident was investigated as a hate crime but it was not convicted as one.

While Kristene healed physically, police arrested and charged David Strickland with capital murder and aggravated sexual assault. In 2016, Strickland was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Living through loss, Kristene found love. She is now engaged to Alondra Nevares. With her fianceé by her side, Kristene lives life to the fullest. On special occasions, Kristene and Alondra visit the park where she lost half of herself 10 years ago.

Kristene said, “I do feel closer to her whenever I come visit here and just right now, whenever we were out here we saw a beautiful red cardinal and I like to think that was her visiting me right now.”

Kristene said she hears from Mollie’s family from time to time. Kristene is going to school to be a speech pathologist. She is also working on a book.

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