Heather Leann Pope
August 3, 2010
On July 23, 2010, Heather Pope left the house, telling her mother she was going to visit a friend. It was the last time her Mother, Carla ever saw her daughter again.
"It wasn't unusual for Heather to go spend the weekend with a friend, of course, " Carla said. "But after a few days had passed and I hadn't heard anything from her, I began to worry. Because no matter what, she always checked in."
Carla said she called Heather's Father, Randall Pope, but he hadn't been able to reach Heather either. The couple, who had been divorced for most of Heather's life, maintained a friendship through the year for their two daughters, according to Carla.
Heather's parents reported her missing to the Royse City Police Department the week after she disappeared.
For the next 11 days, the family searched the area around the house in Royse City and nearby Hunt County where Heather had friends, but there was no sign of her.
Carla told Dateline that Heather often hung out with friends at a convenience store in the Quinlan area of Hunt County. While Heather's Father and family friend were out searching on August 3, 2010, she told them to try the store and ask if anyone had seen her. But when they asked, no one said they had seen or heard from her.
Heather's Father and the family friend decided to walk the property behind the convenience store near a vacant house on Cedar Hill Road in Quinlan, Texas. An that's where they made the gruesome discovery.
Heather's badly decomposed body was found on the ground under a tarp next to the vacant house, according to Hunt County Sheriff Lieutenant Roger Seals, who was at the scene that day.
"It was one of the hottest days of the summer and her body had been there for awhile," Lt. Seals said. "It was badly decomposed."
Autopsy results showed that Heather's death was the result of blunt force trauma to the head.
The Hunt County Sheriff's Office launched an investigation, but Lt. Seals said because of the lack of evidence found, it's been difficult to place anyone else at the scene where Heather's body was found.
Heather's Mother, Carla, told Dateline that she believes a man who Heather befriended is responsible for her murder. "I think he was told 'no' by her too many times," Carla said. "And that made him angry. Angry enough to commit a horrible crime like this, a crime of passion."
Lieutenant Seals confirmed there was a person of interest who was questioned multiple times, but said there has not been enough evidence to charge him or anyone in connection with Heather's murder. He added that no one has been cleared, and the investigation is ongoing.
In April 2019, the Pope family met with Hunt County Crime Stoppers and offered a donation of $8,500 in order to increase the total reward to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for her death.
Anyone with information about Heather's case is asked to call the Hunt County Sheriff's Office at 903-453-6800 or Hunt County Crime Stoppers at 903-457-2929.
Heather's Obituary: https://www.resthavenfuneral.com/obituaries/Heather-Pope-53041/#!/Obituary
Source: NBC News
Bruce Edward Smith III
Murdered January 24, 2020
Bruce Edward Smith, of Lone Oak, died early Saturday morning at Medical City of Plano after he was reported to have been stabbed repeatedly on the night of January 24, 2020 while at the intersection of Interstate 30 and Wesley Street in Greenville, Texas. Smith, 43, worked as an elevator mechanic and left behind a wife, son and two daughters.
Smith was able to drive to the parking lot of Walgreens, where he called his wife and told her what had happened. His wife, Gina Smith was across the street at the time, waiting to have dinner with him, when he called her. "I was in the Schlotzsky's parking lot, waiting for him," Gina Smith said. "And he calls me, and he says, Hey babe, I'm not going to make it to dinner. I've just been stabbed." She dialed 911 and rushed to her husband.
"Me and the police officers ran into Walgreens, and he was laying on the floor in Walgreens," she said. "He had been stabbed multiple times."
Bruce Smith was flown to Medical City Plano to be treated, but he did not survive.
"He was my best friend," Smith cried. "[The suspect] took away my husband, my kids' father, and my grandkids' grandpa." She said Bruce loved his two grandchildren and was a big part of their lives. "We thought he was coming home, we didn't think it would come to this," Gina Smith said.
According to Greenville Police Department a statement was issued indicating the stabbing was believed to have been a road rage incident.
On January 24, 2020 Robert Paul Nichlson of Caddo Mills was arrested and charged with murder in connection to the reported road rage death of Bruce Edward Smith III. Nichlson is being held at the Hunt County Detention Center on a $1 million bond. Murder is a first degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of 5-99 years to life in prison.
Nichlson filed a writ of habeas corpus, seeking the appointment of a defense attorney.
January 31, 2020 Judge Keli Aiken appointed Greenville attorney Cynthia L. Braddy to the case.
April 24, 2020 Hunt County Grand Jury issues formal indictment.
May 11, 2020 Nichlson was formally arraigned on the indictment and entered a plea of not guilty to the charge of murder. Judge Andrew Bench accepted the plea and schedule an interim hearing for June 17, 2020.
Nichlson's next court date is October 8, 2020
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