String Of Mysterious Disappearances, Deaths Has Small Texas County On Edge

“It seems odd that they all know each other and suddenly have fallen victim to foul play,” a private investigator says.

November 28, 2022
Jordan Tompkins [left] disappeared on April 22, 2022 and hasn't been seen since. On June 20, Brittany McMahon, 33, [right] was reported missing. On July 7, her remains were found.

Multiple people died under suspicious circumstances in a Texas community, and some dispute law enforcement officials’ determination that the cases are unconnected.

Photo by: Facebook


By: Aaron Rasmussen

Multiple people died under suspicious circumstances in a Texas community, and some dispute law enforcement officials’ determination that the cases are unconnected.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, four people reportedly in the same social circle have gone missing around the Lakehills area in Bandera County since last April. Three of those have been found dead.

“All of the victims involved are engaged in meth and narcotics usage, and it seems odd that they all know each other and suddenly have fallen victim to foul play,” Dennis Fitzgerald, a retired private investigator who is working with some of the families of those who died, told the outlet. “It is a lot of people to come up missing in such a small community.”

In September, Tracey Bowers said people in the 25,000-resident Bandera County “are definitely on edge.”

“I know a lot of the other moms with teenage daughters, they don’t want to do anything by themselves,” Bowers explained to KSAT. “They’re scared.”

On April 21, 2022, Jordan Tompkins, 25, signed off a video call with her mother. The next day, Tompkins disappeared.

“There is a lot of speculation, and people have said things about what happened, but there is no proof,” Kristy Tompkins said about her still-missing daughter, noting rumors going around include a drug cartel trafficked the woman. “We are afraid of the worst possibility, but we are hopeful.”

On June 20, Brittany McMahon, 33, missed a court hearing, and her mother reported her missing. A police report obtained by the News-Express states a man found McMahon’s remains in a heavily wooded area on his property on July 7 after his dog came to him with a human skull. He then followed the dog and discovered “what appeared to be a human spinal cord, rope wrapped around a tree approximately 7 feet high and white sunglasses on the ground.”

Investigators believe a cotton clothesline — a portion of which was found around McMahon’s neck and another part in a tree — broke when McMahon hung herself. Her body landed on the ground and was disturbed by scavengers, the police report states.

An autopsy could not determine her cause or manner of death due to the advanced state of decomposition.

“Her family is discouraged that the case is closed and are concerned with the findings presented because they find it problematic that she committed suicide,” said the private investigator, Fitzgerald. “They think it should be investigated as foul play.”

Sean Duffy, a 56-year-old business owner, was reported missing on July 4. His burned body was found over a month later, on Aug. 18, wrapped in a blanket in tall grass on the side of a road. According to a police report, officers found drug paraphernalia at the murder victim’s home as well as evidence that indicated he may have been shot there.

On Aug. 12, Norma Espinoza, a 63-year-old disabled woman, was reported missing. Her body was located on Sept. 6 in tall grass a few hundred feet from her home.

The Bandera County spokesperson said the medical examiner found no evidence that pointed to foul play, and the manner of Espinoza’s death was listed as undetermined.

Espinoza used a cane and had a difficult time getting around. “She can walk, but she would start hurting, so she just stays at home,” Bianca Luna said, noting her mother wouldn’t have “just went walking” around outside her home.

The Express-News reported Espinoza struggled with addiction following the death of her son, and Luna called her mother’s life “chaotic and painful.”

“I’m not going to stay quiet about this,” she said about trying to find out what happened to Espinoza. “My mom was my whole world, and I am going to try my best to help her.”

Bandera County spokesperson Matt King said despite the drug connection, investigators have uncovered no evidence proving the cases are related, the Express-News reported.

“They all went missing at different times under different circumstances, and not all of the cases had any criminal activity involved,” King said. “It is very weird, and we looked to see if they are all linked, but there is just no evidence to suggest that.”

Fitzgerald, however, claimed it seems as if the sheriff’s office isn’t “concerned about who they perceive as the lesser people of this community.”

“If the victims were people from a gated community, they would be doing something about it,” he alleged. “Sadly, I think if we don’t find out who is doing this, we will see it happen again. These four are entitled to justice just as much as anyone else.”

Next Up

Police Seek Possible Witnesses To 22-Year-Old Brooklyn Woman’s Murder

On Sept. 21, 2022, police responding to reports of a foul odor at a Brooklyn, New York apartment found the dismembered remains of 22-year-old D'Asia Johnson stuffed into a suitcase.

Questions Remain In 2009 Case Of High School Senior Found Dead On Minnesota Tribal Land

Stacy Hill, a Red Lake Nation girl, is remembered as a creative and popular student who loved “long walks with family and friends.”

Dismembered Body Discovered In Box On The Side Of A Mississippi Road

On Dec. 4, 2022, a 911 call reported human remains along a road in Southern Mississippi. Social media and the victim’s tattoo helped identify the remains as 24-year-old Seth Coulter Odom.

Maryland Fugitive Goes On The Run After Allegedly Killing Girlfriend And Shooting Friend

William Strand is wanted for murder and attempted murder out of Maryland and has ties to the West Coast, specifically Washington state. If you have any information on where Strand could be hiding, please call or text the IN PURSUIT hotline: 833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).

Man Arrested After Missing Texas Woman Madeline Molina Pantoja Found Dead

A 21-year-old Texas woman was last heard arguing with a man on May 10, and she was never seen again. Nine days after she was reported missing, her remains were found in a rural area.

Mississippi Man Found Dead Month After He Calls Mother In Panic, Says Someone’s Trying To Kill Him

“Somebody murdered Rasheem Carter, and we cannot let them get away with this,” a family lawyer says of the case.

Beloved Detroit Neurosurgeon Found Murdered In His Home

Detroit neurosurgeon Devon Hoover, 53, was discovered fatally shot and wrapped in a blanket in the crawl space of his attic on April 23, 2023. Police are now searching for answers about his murder.

Chicago Woman Who Went Missing After Taking Uber Ride Has Been Found Dead

21-year-old Rosa Chacon went missing in January 2023 after getting into an Uber ride outside her home in Chicago. Two months later, her body was found tied up, wrapped in sheets, and dumped in a shopping cart.

Manhunt For Suspect Erick Rangel Ibarra In Las Vegas Murder

Authorities said Erick Rangel Ibarra has a tattoo of California on his earlobe. He has another tattoo of a skull on his chest and on his left wrist of “Dragon Ball Z.” If you have any information on his whereabouts, please submit your tips to or text 1-833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).

The Brutal Murders Of Four Idaho College Students Remain A Mystery

On Nov. 13, 2022, four University of Idaho college students were murdered in their home, while two of their roommates were left unharmed. Police don’t yet have suspects or answers in this mysterious mass killing.