Who Killed Vance Payne?

by Josh Ault

Center, Texas is known for its interesting court house, and small town charm.  One thing it is not known for is unsolved murders . . . until now.

On February 28, Vance Payne was brutally attacked in his home.  A day later he died of his injuries.  Payne was a life long resident of Center and was someone you could not forget.

This is how some of his friends described him: Richard Prince said, "I wish I could describe him in one word.  Vance was extremely easy going, laid back, and enjoyed life."  His neighbor, Leon Aldridge said, "He was always up beat, funny . . . always had a funny story."

Vance would begin everyday at 5:30 AM.  He would stop by his office on the square before heading over to the radio station to do his daily program.  He would leave around 8 AM from the station and have breakfast with friends.  Prince, Vance's best friend, said, "We had breakfast three times a week together and he could find me anytime he needed me or I could find him."

Vance's body was found around 11 AM.  His neighbor came home around twelve, "I went home at lunch and saw vehicles . . . police in the yard . . . I called the neighbor to see what was going on.  I thought Vance fell."

Both friends were shocked after hearing it was murder.  They had no idea who is responsible.  "I couldn't think of one person that would want to harm him" said Prince.

Vance Payne was well loved in Center.  He now rests in Oak Lawn Cemetery.  If you have any information about his death, please contact the Center Police Department at 936-598-2788.