- Mysteries along I-45 -
Since 1971, 21 women and girls have been reported missing along the Interstate 45 corridor in Galveston County in cases that remain unsolved. Police have recovered the remains of 14 from fields, parks and bodies of water. Their killers remain at large. The other seven are missing, their fates unknown.
July, 1971: Brenda Jones, 14, disappeared while walking to UTMB to visit an aunt. Her body was found next day, floating in Galveston Bay a short distance away. She had a slip stuffed in her mouth and she died of a head wound.
November, 1971: The mother of Allison Craven, 12, returned home from running errands to find her daughter gone. Police found partial remains in a nearby field, about three months later.
November, 1971: The half-nude bodies of Ball High School students Debbie Ackerman and Maria Johnson, both 15, were found in Turner's Bayou. Both had been shot to death.
September, 1974: Brooks Bracewell, 12, and Georgia Geer, 14, disappeared from a convenience store after skipping school. Their bodies were found near water, but the location was undisclosed.
October, 1983: Sondra Ramber, 14, left for school, but never arrived. Her father reported her missing to the police the day after he returned home to find the doors to his house unlocked and his daughter missing.
October, 1985: Michelle Doherty Thomas, 17, disappeared after leaving her Alta Loma home with a group of friends. Investigators believe she might have been kidnapped and killed because she had served as a police informant in a drug bust.
April, 1986: Police recover a woman's headless body from a garbage bag in a state park in Galveston. The body remains unidentified.
May, 1986: Shelley Sikes, 19, left her summer job at Gaido's restaurant for her Texas City home, but never made it. Her car was found on Interstate 45's northbound feeder road, just north of the Causeway. Her body was never recovered, but Bayview resident John Robert King and El Lago resident Gerald Peter Zwarst later were convicted of aggravated kidnapping, the most severe charge prosecutors could pursue without a body, in the case.
October, 1988: Suzanne Rene Richerson, 22, disappeared from the lobby of the Casa Del Mar Condominiums on Galveston's Seawall Boulevard. One of her shoes was found, but no one has been able to turn up any other trace of her.
September, 1991: The remains of an unidentified woman, known as "Janet Doe," were found in a Calder Road field. Her body was the fourth found in the field since 1984. Heidi Villareal Fye, 25, disappeared in 1983 and Laura Miller, 16, disappeared in 1984, both from the same convenience store. The bodies of Fye and Miller later turned up in the field, as did another unidentified woman, known only as "Jane Doe."
March, 1996: Krystal Jean Baker, 13, was reported missing from her Texas City home. Her body later was found near Interstate 10 and the Trinity River in Chambers County.
April, 1997: Laura Kate Smither, 12, disappeared while jogging near her Friendswood home. Her body was found weeks later in a Pasadena retention pond.
August, 1997: Jessica Lee Cain, 17, disappeared on her way home from a Bennigan's restaurant in Webster. Her father, C.H. Cain, found her tan 1992 Ford extended-cab pickup truck on the shoulder of Interstate 45 South, between Exits 7 and 8 in La Marque. Her wallet and keys were inside.
December, 1999: Jo Ann Sendejas, 39, disappeared from the San Leon house she occupied with her sister. She could have been intoxicated, according to a witness who said he saw her shortly before her disappearance, and investigators said she could have injured herself climbing out of a window to leave the house.
July, 2001: Tot Tran Harriman, 57, visiting relatives in League City, drove off one morning, bound for a friend's home in South Texas. She and her vehicle were never seen again.
July, 2002: Two fishermen discover the body of Sarah Trusty, 23, along the Texas City Dike. Trusty had been dead for at least a week. She had last been seen riding her bicycle near the Algoa Baptist Church more than two weeks earlier.
2004 Galveston County Daily News. All rights reserved.