A couple of years after Jay Travis received his sentence, the television show "Cold Case Files" presented a reenactment of the crime and the detective work that ultimately brought Annie's murderer to justice. Unfortunately, we don't have a record of the exact air date. However, we do know that it still airs from time to time. Below are a brief summary of the show segment, followed by a transcript.
Burning Desire: Summary
On July 4, 1997, California Highway Patrol responds to a fire burning in an olive orchard just outside of Fresno, CA. They find the source of the flames to be the body of a young woman who has also been shot twice in the head. Madera Co. Sheriff's detectives work the case of a victim who turns out to be 20-year-old Andrea Born. Det. Kathy Starr likes Born's boyfriend J.L. Travis, who was the last person to see the victim alive, for the crime, but conclusive evidence or a witness account seems nowhere to be found.
Two years later Special Agent Vince Zavala of the California DOJ picks up the case. He discovers that a series of fingerprints were recovered in the car, and presumed crime scene, that J.L. Travis's girlfriend reported stolen around the time of the murder. Zavala finds that the prints belong to Travis's cousin, Kevin Mitchell. The case heats up when Mitchell learns he could be charged with grand theft auto and starts talking about his cousin's Burning Desire.
00:32:31: She was still alive at the time.
00:32:34: I mean, you know, she had this very, very, distinctive, like, breathing going on.
00:32:40: He had this look in his eyes.
00:32:43: I won't forget that look.
00:32:46: It's just like the stare that you stare down a victim, and if you say anything you could be one, too.
00:33:03: We're on state route 99, and we're in the area where fresno county and madera county meet.
00:33:07: Kurtis: Ben grasmuck is an officer for the california highway patrol.
00:33:12: Just before midnight grasmuck sweeps his beat, a lonely stretch along highway 99.
00:33:17: And we were still on the freeway.
00:33:20: I happened to glance over there, and I saw a fire.
00:33:24: Kurtis: Grasmuck follows the flames into a nearby olive orchard.
00:33:29: There he discovers a body.
00:33:32: The torso was on fire, and i could see her.
00:33:36: I'll never forget her two legs sticking up out of the fire towards me.
00:33:41: I immediately knew it was a woman, and I immediately knew she'd been murdered.
00:33:44: It appeared that she was relatively young.
00:33:46: Kurtis: Detective kathy starr responds to the scene.
00:33:50: There was extensive burning to the body.
00:33:53: The victim was lying on her back.
00:33:56: Her legs were up and open.
00:33:58: There aren't any homes in this area.
00:34:01: This is not a widely traveled road here.
00:34:04: So to come in here, dump a body, set the fire, very unlikely that you're going to be noticed.
00:34:11: Kurtis: Starr combs the orchard for clues, and happens upon some footprints in the dirt.
00:34:18: There were two sets of footprints.
00:34:21: One appeared to have been wearing socks.
00:34:24: The other was clearly a bare footprint.
00:34:29: Kurtis: The prints and nearby tire tracks are photographed.
00:34:33: Meanwhile, at the morgue, the pathologist determines the victim was shot twice in the head.
00:34:40: This would be the first gunshot wound that exited here.
00:34:42: This was the second gunshot 25-caliber bullet was recovered.
00:34:49: Kurtis: Starr believes the victim was shot dead, then set on fire in an effort to cover up the crime.
00:34:55: The detective's next order of business-- i.d. her victim.
00:34:59: If we didn't know who the victim was, we weren't going to find out who the suspect was.
00:35:03: Kurtis: Starr puts out an apb on her jane doe, and then begins the waiting game.
00:35:09: There are a lot of missing persons cases-- it's the fourth of july weekend-- so we were real uncertain as to how soon we were going to be able to identify this victim.
00:35:25: .. like, I started to feel like something is wrong.
00:35:28: Kurtis: Ruth pimentel has an uneasy feeling her best friend, andrea born, is missing.
00:35:35: 00 and said she was on the way to my house, our house, and she was with jay, and she never came home.
00:35:42: And I think jay's done something to her.
00:35:46: Kurtis: travis, andrea's boyfriend, and the last known person to see her alive.
00:35:52: I knew his history, like i knew he was in jail, you know?
00:35:55: I knew that he had guns and that he held them to annie's head in .. she had told me that.
00:36:03: So I really thought that something was wrong, and I told that to the police.
00:36:10: Kurtis: Fresno police take down the missing person's report and compare the details to starr's bulletin about the burning body.
00:36:17: They have here as a white FEMALE, ADULT, IN HER 20s, FIVE- Nine, blue eyes and blonde hair.
00:36:25: And that matched the information that we had taken so far on our jane doe.
00:36:31: Kurtis: Dental records confirm the body to be that of andrea born.
00:36:36: .. of let your mind wrap around this and say, "okay, this is what happened to my beautiful, happy, sweet " Kurtis: Gloria barnes is andrea's mother.
00:36:52: On july 7, detective starr tells her andrea is dead.
00:36:55: She said, "well, we have made a positive identification on the body, and I'm really sorry to tell you that it is your " and I just started to cry.
00:37:06: And they said, "well, her body " Kurtis: As a mother deals with her pain, kathy starr gets on with the business of finding andrea's killer.
00:37:17: She starts with j.l. travis.
00:37:26: The date is july 6.
00:37:27: My name is detective kathy starr.
00:37:30: Kurtis: In a small interview travis tells detectives he had nothing to do with annie's disappearance, insisting he took her to a pool party on the fourth of july, then dropped her safely at home.
00:37:54: He was avoiding eye contact.
00:37:55: His body language suggested that he was not wanting to open up and be truthful with us.
00:38:01: It was very hard to believe him, because he wasn't consistent.
00:38:06: Even when he was trying to act as though he was grieving for his lost girlfriend, it was so transparent.
00:38:12: It was almost laughable how little he cared.
00:38:18: Kurtis: Detectives starr and for hours, probing his story and searching for a motive.
00:38:24: takes the bait, telling detectives that just weeks earlier annie had met someone new.
00:38:58: I think the victim was going to l, and I think he was having a hard time coping with that.
00:39:08: Jealousy makes people do some strange things.
00:39:13: Kurtis: Theories aside, detectives need more to put the cuffs on j.l. travis.
00:39:19: Starr then asks her suspect for a look at his feet.
00:39:23: I was looking for anything on his feet that would be consistent with walking out in that orchard.
00:39:28: As you can see, we have abrasions in his feet and small puncture wounds, which could very well have been made by the debris in that field.
00:39:37: Kurtis: Along with the abrasions, the size and shape of travis' feet match up to the bare footprints found in the orchard.
00:39:45: There were similarities, yes-- the shape of the toes, the ways the toes overlapped here and here, the size of the big toe.
00:39:55: Kurtis: With the evidentiary trail heating up, starr decides she wants to examine travis' car.
00:40:03: We compared the tire tracks, and they didn't match in size or tire impression to what we had at the crime scene.
00:40:10: There was no blood.
00:40:12: Even on the windshield, it was negative for blood.
00:40:15: Kurtis: Detectives have an intriguing circumstantial case, but not enough for an arrest.
00:40:21: After more than 12 hours of questioning, starr releases j.l.
00:40:27: We knew we had our guy, and now it was just building the case so that we had enough evidence that we could convince a jury of that.
00:40:39: We continually were trapping him in lies and inconsistencies.
00:40:43: He was just not trustworthy.
00:40:46: Kurtis: travis has talked at length about the day that andrea born was killed.
00:40:52: Now starr takes her suspect's statements and tries to find the holes.
00:40:57: He had mentioned to me that after leaving the pool party and driving annie home, his cousin, kevin mitchell, was with him.
00:41:05: So we went looking for kevin mitchell.
00:41:08: Kurtis: Mitchell repeats the travis told, save one small detail.
00:41:14: He was the one that initially told us that they were in tracy tavares' car.
00:41:19: Tracy is j.l's other girlfriend.
00:41:22: He has two children with her.
00:41:24: There was no reason to not think that she had been murdered in that car.
00:41:29: Even if she had been transported in that vehicle, there would've been trace evidence that would've been left.
00:41:34: Kurtis: Starr pays tracey a visit and asks to see her car.
00:41:38: Her story is, "well, I'm " how convenient that her car is stolen three days after annie's homicide and that she forgot to mention to us the fact that she that night.
00:41:55: Kurtis: Detectives don't believe tracey tavares any more than they believed her boyfriend.
00:41:59: Starr has tavares pegged as a jealous and perhaps violent girlfriend.
00:42:05: She wanted annie out of the way, and we felt that she had that she could make that happen.
00:42:11: I think we tried every tack we could take with her to try to get her to fess up, to crack.
00:42:20: She was, I felt, very much l no matter what.
00:42:25: Kurtis: Detectives believe the best way to crack tracey is to find her car.
00:42:31: Within weeks the vehicle is recovered in the garage at kevin mitchell's mom's house.
00:42:36: We're thinking we've got our car, and we're going to find the trace evidence in this car.
00:42:42: When we searched the car, this car was pristine.
00:42:49: It was cleaner than anything you would get off a showroom floor.
00:42:51: Kurtis: Tracey vares' car yields no connections to the murder.
00:42:55: After three months, starr gets pulled off the case and onto fresh homicides.
00:43:00: It was very difficult to let it go, yeah, especially being so close, being so close and having to let go of it.
00:43:06: Kurtis: Andrea born's murder slips into the cold files, where it will stay for three years, travis' cousin kevin mitchell resurfaces with a story to tell and a finger to point.
00:47:15: every case deserves attention.
00:47:18: This one cried for attention.
00:47:19: Kurtis: Vince zavala is a one-man team working the oldest and toughest cases on the books-- the cold cases.
00:47:27: Well, whenever fresh eyes look at a case, they may see something that the original investigator didn't see.
00:47:36: Kurtis: In 1999, zavala picks up the unsolved murder of andrea born and digs in.
00:47:42: The madera county sheriff's department had focused on three individuals-- jacob lee travis, kevin mitchell, and tracy tavares.
00:47:50: When I reviewed the case file from the madera county sheriff's department, naturally those three people jumped out at me as being primary suspects.
00:47:59: Kurtis: In 1997, the three were caught in a web of lies.
00:48:04: Travis and tavares had been interviewed on five different occasions and given five different stories.
00:48:10: Kevin mitchell had been interviewed once and gave a completely different story.
00:48:14: Kurtis: Zavala begins the process of reexamining evidence and tracking down leads.
00:48:20: Two months later, he gets his first break.
00:48:23: I later discovered by interviewing several people that jacob lee travis by his own admission did in fact possess a .25-caliber handgun.
00:48:36: .. same type of weapon that was used to murder andrea born in his possession less than 24 hours before she was murdered.
00:48:44: This began to put the wheels in motion.
00:48:49: Kurtis: Next, zavala turns to tracey tavares' car.
00:48:53: Tavares claimed it was stolen just days after the murder.
00:48:57: Police at the time believed the theft report to be bogus.
00:49:00: A set of prints lifted from the vehicle, however, provides zavala with an opportunity.
00:49:05: The prints were recovered during the initial investigation, but they were never compared to anyone, so we compared them to kevin mitchell.
00:49:13: Kurtis: The prints belonged to kevin mitchell, putting him in line for a potential charge of grand theft auto-- unless, of course, mitchell is willing to talk.
00:49:23: And they were like, "well, you're wanted for grand theft " " I just started crying, and I was just telling them, "look, I'm going to tell you guys the " we look for the truth.
00:49:43: Kurtis: On march 15, kevin mitchell sits down with cold case detectives and begins to talk.
00:49:49: He was very willing to talk.
00:49:51: .. on one hand, he was relieved to get it off his chest.
00:49:56: And of course, on the other hand he felt if he was truthful and cooperated with us perhaps the arm of justice wouldn't hit him as hard.
00:50:09: Kurtis: Mitchell tells zavala on july 4, 1997, he went to a pool party, then caught a ride home with andrea born and j.l.
00:50:32: Kurtis: According to mitchell, the conversation between andrea born and j.l.
00:50:35: Travis appeared to be normal until j.l. pulled a gun.
00:51:05: That was basically the defining moment in the investigation.
00:51:09: This pretty much is the last nail.
00:51:11: .. we have a strong circumstantial case.
00:51:14: Now we have a witness to the murder of andrea born.
00:51:18: .. i don't know what to do right now, you know?
00:51:23: I was pretty scared.
00:51:24: And he shoots her again.
00:51:27: I was just sitting in the car, and she was still alive at the time and, you know, she had this very, very distinctive, like, breathing going on.
00:51:36: I couldn't do anything to save her life.
00:51:39: Couldn't do anything.
00:51:40: I wanted to, but I couldn't, because I was scared for my life.
00:51:44: Kurtis: As andrea born lay dying in the front seat, drove out to the olive orchard.
00:51:52: He laid her down and he poured gas around her, and then on her, and then set it on fire, and we left.
00:51:58: .. this look in his eyes.
00:52:03: I won't forget that look.
00:52:05: It's just like the stare that you stare down a victim.
00:52:09: And if you say anything, you could be one too.
00:52:13: Kurtis: Four days later, and tracey tavares were back asking for a favor.
00:52:39: That was an important statement, because we knew that andrea born had been murdered in tracy tavares' vehicle.
00:52:48: Now tracy tavares, jacob lee travis, and kevin mitchell have made plans to dispose of the vehicle.
00:52:57: Kurtis: Mitchell tells zavala he hid the car at his mom's house, then left town.
00:53:02: After two years of legwork, zavala believes his case is made.
00:53:07: He has an eyewitness to the murder, and finally, an arrest warrant in hand for j.l. travis.
00:53:16: I didn't find it unusual that he was still with tracey tavares.
00:53:21: In my opinion he felt safe, that he was never going to be arrested for the murder of andrea born.
00:53:27: They were living out in rural fresno county on a piece of property owned by tracey's tavares' family.
00:53:35: Kurtis: On march 20, detective zavala brings travis to the madera county sheriff's office and charges him with murder.
00:53:42: He was shocked initially.
00:53:44: Initially when interviewed him he was very remorseful, and at that point I thought he may confess, and he then snapped out of it and denied any involvement.
00:53:58: Kurtis: travis is packed off to jail to await trial.
00:54:01: Meanwhile zavala turns to the woman he believes to be his accomplice-- tracey tavares.
00:54:08: Worst case scenario I think she was involved.
00:54:11: Least case scenario she knew what happened and she was not truthful with law enforcement.
00:54:16: Kurtis: Zavala books tavares on insurance fraud for falsely reporting her car stolen.
00:54:21: She takes a plea, and will serve no time.
00:54:25: It's frustrating, but we can only do the best we can with what we have.
00:54:30: Kurtis: Kevin mitchell is never charged with a crime.
00:54:33: travis, however, does not get off so easy.
00:54:37: On february 20, 2003 he pleads guilty to a charge of second- degree murder and draws 15 years to life.
00:54:45: He wanted the best of all worlds.
00:54:48: He wanted this young, beautiful, intelligent woman andrea born.
00:54:52: He wanted the mother of his children, tracy tavares.
00:54:55: He wanted his cake and he wanted to eat it too.
00:54:58: I think he realized that he was ..
00:55:05: If he couldn't have her, no one was going to have her.
00:55:09: And so that was the motive for killing her.
00:55:12: When you're the victim of this kind of crime, you don't have any closure.
00:55:16: Kurtis: Gloria barnes lives alone, surrounded by fragments of her daughter's life, a life that ended with a gunshot-- a gunshot that gutted a mother's soul.
00:55:28: It just never goes away.
00:55:29: And it just kind of eats at you.
00:55:34: And you try to go on with your life and you try to find some ..
00:55:40: It's like you're going through the motions.