Mickey David Niles
7 Years Old

September 10, 1966 to June 7, 1974

Mickey David Niles was born at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota on September 10, 1966. He was a twin, but his twin brother was unexpectedly stillborn. He had an older brother and three older sisters. From the beginning, Mickey was a special little boy. He loved to cuddle and be with other people. A year later his family moved to Texas and in a few months, little brother Robby was born. Mickey loved playing with his little brother, possibly because he had lost his twin. When they got older, they would constantly call each other “Bud”, an endearment learned from their Dad.

We have so many favorite memories of Mickey, too many to tell! Mickey was a quiet little boy, not bossy or opinionated. He tried to please others even when he didn't get his way. He liked school and enjoyed being on the peewee baseball league.

At church, when he was only five years old, the preacher lifted him up on the communion table and Mickey recited all the names of the 66 books in the Bible by heart. The congregation loved it and of course, his family was so proud.

Mickey’s church was Faith Baptist in Abilene, Texas, and he went to school there. The year he died, two days before Easter, 7-year-old Mickey made a decision all by himself to ask Jesus in to his heart. He was scared to go up front in church, but on Easter Sunday he summoned his courage, turned to Mom and said “I’m going up now”. He was dressed in his little white suit, and being such a grown-up young man.

We would take him to the zoo where they had a little fishing pond, and no one could catch a fish like Mickey. He would be getting bites left and right while no one else could get any. There was something about his gentle touch that made the fish not afraid of his line.

Mickey’s favorite color was black—interesting! He was an extremely intelligent, happy and lovable boy. Mickey’s family and friends were very honored and blessed to have known him for his whole lifetime.


In the middle of the night June7, 1974, in Abilene, Texas, Mickey was stabbed and killed while he slept. His 13-year old sister was stabbed multiple times in the back, but she woke up, fought and survived. She injured her attacker somehow, causing him to bleed, and he fled from the house. Though DNA was not used as evidence in 1974, unknown blood samples were found and saved. Also an unknown fingerprint was found in the house. After an extensive investigation, police reached a dead end and the case became cold.

In early 2004, police arrested a man named Juan Bravo in San Antonio for DUI. His fingerprint matched the print found at the house in Abilene 30 years earlier. A DNA test matched the blood DNA found at the scene of the crime. He was arrested for the murder and released the next day on $100,00 bond. It was discovered that Bravo was stationed at the Air Force base in Abilene in 1974 where Mickey's father was stationed.

A reason for the terrible murder was never found. Why did it happen? We may never know. Bravo had been arrested on 1974 for possession of marijuana and in subsequent years for DUI. We do not know whether or not he committed other crimes besides these.

The killer lived free and unpunished for 32 years after committing this murder and attempted murder. In January 2007 Bravo pled guilty and was sentenced by plea-bargaining to 40 years in prison.

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Mickey Niles