In the late evening of December 6, 1991, Eliza Thomas and Jennifer Harbison, both 17 years old, were getting ready to close up the “I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt” shop where they worked in Austin, TX. Jennifer’s 15 year old sister Sarah and her 13 year old friend Amy Ayers were also in the shop waiting for Jennifer to get off work. Jennifer locked the front door of the shop at 10pm to prevent more customers from coming into the shop, but a few customers were still inside at the time. A couple who left around 10pm reported that there were still 2 men in the shop who were acting strange. That was the last time any of the 4 girls would be seen alive.
Around midnight that night, a police officer noticed a fire coming from the shop and reported it to his dispatcher to get the fire department to the scene. After extinguishing the fires, the responders entered the shop and found the nude bodies of the four girls. All four had been shot in the head, some of the girls had been raped, and all but Amy were found stacked together and had extensive burns. Amy was found away from the bodies of the other girls, and it is believed she survived being shot in the head twice crawled away from the other girls’ bodies before finally succumbing to her injuries.
Several suspects were questioned in the case, and a few years after the murders two men were convicted of the crimes after they confessed. The men were subsequently freed in 2009 when it was determined that their confessions which were used in each other's trials were a violation of the “Confrontation Clause” of the United States Constitution. It was also determined that the DNA from semen recovered from the bodies didn’t match the accused, nor the other men they implicated in their confessions. No one else has been tried for the case and it remains officially unsolved.
To memorialize the horrors that happened there, there is a remembrance plaque located in the parking lot of the strip mall under a tree that states simply “In Loving Memory of Amy Ayers Sarah Harbison Jennifer Harbison Eliza Thomas Forever In Our Hearts”.