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