Missing woman found
By KELI JACOBI News-Times Staff Te r e s a Je n k ins’ said her worst fears were confi rmed Wednesday evening when she heard her missing daughter had been found dead in a Dallas city park just past dawn some 10 days earlier.
Dallas police discovered Crystal Jenkins, 25, after responding to a 9-1-1 call the morning of Oct. 8 – roughly the same time that her family had fi led a missing person’s report in El Dorado and only days before she was scheduled to testify in a signifi cant drug case Jenkins in Union County Circuit Court.
Dallas police responded to reports that gunshots were fi red in an area around White Rock Lake in north Dallas the morning of Oct. 8, when they discovered Jenkins’ bullet-riddled body, according to a detective with the Dallas Police Department who was in El Dorado Thursday.
The one thing the police investigation did not uncover until late Wednesday was a positive identifi cation on the body, Det. R.L. Ermatinger said.
In an attempt to clear up the mystery, a photo and limited information on the young female they had found was released to local media, he explained.
"A pparently someone in your area saw the story in the Dallas Morning News and alerted local law enforcement here," said Ermatinger. "The El Dorado Police Department and the Union County Sheriff’s Offi ce contacted us We d nesday regarding a missing person. They believed very strongly their missing person was our murder victim."
Local authorities were notifi ed Wednesday of a positive fi ngerprint match, he said.
Since the alleged homicide is believed to have occurred in Dallas, the case will be handled through the Dallas Police Department with assistance from law enforcement in El Dorado and Union County. An autopsy has already been performed in Dallas and the body will be released to the family for burial.
"There is forensic evidence at the scene that I think would clear the case," said Ermatinger. The detective would not elaborate on what type of fi rearm may have been used or exactly how many gunshots were fi red into Crystal Jenkins’ body. Her estimated time of death was 7 a.m. on Oct. 8.
A fi lm crew from "The First 48" – an A &E network program about real-life investigators and their race against time to fi nd suspects – was in El Dorado Thursday to capture the Dallas detectives working the crime with cooperation from local law enforcement.
Hours before the news of Jenkins’ death reached them, family members had requested an article in the News-Times in a last-ditch ef fort to get word out of her disappearance. They admitted to suspecting foul play all along, but were hoping against hope for a different out come.
"We knew she was missing, we knew this was not a case of her running from the law," Teresa Jenkins told the News-Times Thursday. "You know it and feel it in your gut, but you don’t want it to be true."
Felicia Evans reportedly last saw her sister about 6:55 p.m. Oct. 7 at a residence on East Fourth Street in El Dorado. Evans, her husband, Johnny F. Evans, and her husband’s brother, Lavelle Evans, all face numerous drug charges and, along with Crystal Jenkins, were set to Continued from Page 1A face trial by jury two weeks ago until Crystal Jenkins’ sudden disappearance on Oct. 7. Johnny Evans, 30, is currently serving a term in state prison on separate felony charges. His brother, Lavelle Evans, 28, was arrested on federal probation revocations late last week and is being held in county jail until he is transferred to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
The state alleges that on or about Feb. 21, 2005, the co-defendants committed extensive drug-related offenses, including delivering methamphetamine, maintaining a drug premises, simultaneous possession of drugs and fi rearms and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Both Johnny Evans and Lavelle Evans are charged as habitual felons and as such, are eligible for a sentence twice the term authorized should they be found guilty by jurors, according to court records. Their trial was postponed until November, following Crystal Jenkins’ disappearance.
Jenkins had agreed to testify truthfully about any involvement she had with her codefendants in exchange for a possible plea deal, according to the prosecutor’s offi ce. Her car was found parked at her home around 9 p.m. on Oct. 7 with only her cell phone in it, according to police reports. "She never went without that cell phone," her mother had told the News-Times on We dnesday. "She knew there might come a time when she’d really need to use it."
"A t least now we have a