1993 Levelland cold case reopened after person of interest named in Jeannie Quinn’s murder

1993 Levelland cold case reopened after person of interest named in Jeannie Quinn’s murder
Stephane Meeks Henderson (Source: Family members)

LEVELLAND, TX (KCBD) - A man named as a person of interest in the murder of 20-year-old Jeannie Quinn in April 2018 is also a person of interest in a missing person case from 1993.

In 2005, KCBD reported the DPS web site ‘Project Find Me’ raised new questions about open missing person’s cases on the South Plains, one involving the disappearance of Stephanie Meeks Henderson.

Stephanie Meeks Henderson of Levelland has been in the missing person’s database for 25 years now. She was 21 years old when she went missing.

Stephanie was last seen in Levelland, Texas on November 28, 1993. She had an argument with her husband, Ricky Don Henderson, that day. Stephanie called her grandmother to say she was leaving. Her grandmother went to Stephanie’s home, but by the time she got there, Stephanie was already gone.

Ricky Don Henderson, 56, of Levelland (Source: Abilene Police Department)
Ricky Don Henderson, 56, of Levelland (Source: Abilene Police Department)

Ricky claims she was picked up by some female friends from Hobbs, New Mexico. Stephanie left all of her personal belongings, including her purse and her only pair of shoes, behind at her home when she vanished. Her disappearance was not reported for several weeks because her family believed she was staying with her friends in New Mexico.

Then Stephanie’s grandmother received a typed letter supposedly from Stephanie which stated she was living in Hobbs. However, the letter was postmarked Lubbock, Texas, and when Stephane’s grandmother noticed this she became suspicious and contacted police.

Foul play is suspected in Stephanie’s disappearance. Investigators interviewed the friends who supposedly took her to Hobbs, and they all said they did not pick her up.

In 2004, police tested a hair of Stephanie’s against the saliva on the envelope flap of the letter that was sent to her grandmother. The saliva was not Stephanie’s and the DNA was male, not a female. Ricky is considered a possible suspect in his wife’s disappearance, but has not been charged in connection with it. Stephanie’s case remains unsolved.

Officials with the Hockley County Sheriff’s Office say the case has been reopened. Anyone with information is urged to call the Hockley County Sheriff’s Office at 806-894-3126.

Jeannie Quinn’s murder

In May 2018, Hockley County Sheriff Ray Scifres confirmed two people were being investigated in connection with the murder of a Levelland woman. Jeannie Kaitlyn-Noel Quinn’s body was found on private property in Abilene on April 17, 2018, two days after she went missing from Levelland.

An autopsy revealed her body was found with a “hard wire” twisted around her neck and white bags around both of her hands. The autopsy report calls her death a “staged hanging” and says Quinn died of asphyxiation.

The Abilene Police Department seized two phones in mid-April as part of the murder investigation.

Officials say Quinn was last seen with her boyfriend in Abilene just two days before her body was found. Her boyfriend has been identified as Ricky Don Henderson.

According to officials, Henderson said they left from Levelland on April 14, drove to Brady to visit some friends, then stayed in Brownwood. They then went to Abilene where they got into an argument. Henderson told police she left in his truck and he waited for her for about an hour before calling her several times and leaving her a voicemail.

He told detectives with the Abilene Police he continued calling Quinn for days after she disappeared, but that she never answered him, so he stopped trying to contact her.

Detectives searched his phone during the interview and found several calls he made to another person on the day of the argument.

Henderson told police that person picked him up as he was walking from Abilene to Snyder and drove him back to Levelland. He told police he and the same person borrowed a friend’s car on April 16 to look for Quinn, but they didn’t find her, so they drove back to Levelland.

Detectives believe the data from Henderson’s phone will help in the investigation.

Eight months later, officials with the Abilene Police Department officially named Henderson as a person of interest in the case. The other person being investigated has not been named by officials.

The family has posted a cash reward of $11,645 through both an established $10,000 and through a GoFundMe campaign, which raised the remaining $1,645, John Quinn said. That reward money is for anyone who has information regarding Quinn’s death and all tips will remain anonymous.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Abilene Police Department at 325-676-6610.

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