Fort Worth Star-Telegram
July 26, 1996
Edition: FINAL AM
Search continues in case of Hood County woman missing since '79
Author: BILL HANNA; Star-Telegram Writer
Nearly 17 years ago, Helen Holladay disappeared from her
weekend home along the shores of Lake Granbury after neighbors
reported seeing her in a bloody struggle with her husband,
Since she was last seen Sept. 29, 1979, Hood County residents
have speculated that she could have been killed and that her
remains could be at the bottom of Lake Granbury in the family's
missing 1973 pickup.
She was declared dead in 1986. Her husband died a year later.
Now, with the help of a Department of Public Safety helicopter
and a new tip, investigators hope to find the pickup that may
be resting at the bottom of the lake.
"We have some information about where to look on the lake,"
said Hood County Sheriff Rodney Jeanis. "It's just a situation
we want to take a look at and hope it leads us somewhere."
That information, combined with the lake's unusually low level,
gives investigators optimism that they may find the truck,
Jeanis said. But the first helicopter search Wednesday was
"Wouldn't you know it, that's the one day it was too windy to
see anything," Jeanis said. "With the lake being down, you can
find all kinds of things down there, but you must know where to
look. We'll be trying again in the next few days to see what we
Authorities said Holladay had a fight with her husband before
she vanished. Neighbors told deputies that the attack was so
violent that Holladay forced her bleeding hand through a glass
window on the door of the family's recreational vehicle and
called for help.
"There have been reports that the lady had fisticuffs back and
forth with her husband," Jeanis said. "That could have played a
part in all of this and that's something we would like to
Holladay, who was 45 when she disappeared, never used her
credit cards or cashed a paycheck in her purse after her
disappearance, authorities said. Investigators also checked her
social security number and determined that it had not been used
since she was reported missing.
The search is being focused on Whippoorwill Bay, where
Holladay's weekend residence was located, Jeanis said.
"We have a pretty specific area to search," he said. "Of
course, currents can shift things and it could have moved over
time. But that's the nature of these types of cases, you hit a
lot snags and dead-ends but you keep trying."