The DPS web site, 'Project Find Me', is raising new questions about open missing person's cases on the South Plains. One area sheriff hopes it will bring new attention to a case he's been trying to solve for more than a decade.
Stephane Meeks Henderson of Levelland has been in the missing person's database for 12 years now. But new evidence is helping the Hockley County Sheriff's office keep the investigation alive.
"On Stephane there's just nothing. I mean nobody's seen her, nobody's heard from her," explains Hockley County Sherriff David Kinney. He's been chasing what he calls a ghost, for more than a decade. "She's not out there, I wish she was, I wish she was just running from us. It'd just tickle me to death but I'm afraid she's not," reveals the sheriff.
Stephane Henderson was last seen November 28, 1993. The same day she had a fight with her husband Ricky Don Henderson. "She calls her grandmother in San Angelo and tells her she wants to leave," says Sheriff Kinney.
'Project Find Me' Site Launches
In an effort to solve a number of missing persons cases, the Texas DPS brings attention to a cold case here on the South Plains.
When her Grandmother Martha Meeks arrived Stephane was gone. Police say Ricky told her some friends from Hobbs, New Mexico had come by to pick her up. Though Stephane's belonging's were left behind, including her purse and her only pair of shoes. It wasn't until weeks later, that Martha grew suspicious about Stephane's disappearance. She received a typed letter stating Stephane was in Hobbs, New Mexico and signed lots of love, Stephane. But the letter was postmarked Lubbock so Martha contacted authorities to file a missing persons report.
"We talked to everybody that may've even come in contact with her back then," explains the Sheriff. Police even questioned the people Ricky alleged took Stephane to Hobbs. "We interviewed those girls, they did not pick her up," he asserts.
A suspicion Martha had all along. In a story NewsChannel 11 did in 1994 Martha describes her relationship with Stephane. "You know if you don't like it there call me and I'll come get you and I always did so she knew I'd come and get her," says Martha Meeks, now deceased.
Now more than a decade later, new evidence surfaces. In October 2004 Sheriff Kinney sent a sample of hair from one of Stephane's relatives for DNA testing. Remember the mysterious letter? The hair was compared to saliva from the envelope. Police say what the crime lab found was astounding. "They do know that who ever mailed that letter was a male not a female," says the sheriff. It's the latest piece of evidence in this unsolved case. "Do you believe she's dead," asks NewsChannel 11. "Yes I do. I would just think we would have heard from her by now," replied Sheriff Kinney.
He says all clues point in one direction. "Let's talk about her husband. Is he a suspect in this case," asks NewsChanel 11. "Yeah, he's a suspect to me. He's was the last one around her, he's never gave me a statement," he replies.
A stack of evidence by his side Sheriff Kinney says he's determined to see this case someday go to trial someday. "Hopefully before my career is over we'll figure this out or solve it," he says.
Sheriff Kinney urges you to call the Hockley County Sheriff's Department if you have any information on this case. That number is (806) 894-3126.
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