It’s like something you would see out of a movie. On September 29, 1979 a banker by the name of Helen Holladay left her Texas home after a violent argument with her husband, Herman Holladay. Helen got in her 1970s model Chevrolet truck; she drove into Granbury, and that was the last anyone had seen of her…Until April 17, 2014.
Holladay’s truck was uncovered from Lake Granbury. Following a recent drought, the low lake levels allowed a city worker to spot the truck. The truck was fifteen feet away from the edge of the lake and fifteen feet underwater, which is why no one ever noticed the truck down there. Reports show that the lake was searched numerous times before, immediately after her disappearance. There was no luck in recovering the truck because it was covered in silt which made it impossible for divers to spot.
Experts identified the skeletal remains in the truck as Helen Holladay. The remains deteriorated so much after 35 years under water that the only way they could identify her was by dental records and old credit cards still in her purse. Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds explained that the recovered truck’s identification number matched that of Helen Holladay’s Chevy.
Her husband, Herman Holladay, was a suspect in the case but was never arrested due to lack of evidence. Holladay’s daughter’s described Herman as “abusive”. Seems quite suspicious, the same day the police investigate a domestic disturbance call in your house, your wife goes missing. I asked a medical examiner, Dr. William Morrone, if Herman Holladay’s history with the victim could play a big part in the investigation. “Yes, very much so and are the original of all grassroots investigations.”
Officials say there was no visible evidence of stab or gunshot wounds. Officials say the skeleton is so deteriorated that it could be impossible to identify the cause of death. According to Dr. Morrone, in could be possible. “In old cold cases the medical examiner needs the participation of ‘forensic anthropologist’. Many techniques are the same as those is historical research of ancient North American Indian or Egyptian civilizations. Vegetation and insect matter would confirm the season of extrapolated death, full x-ray for trauma. Broken bones crush wounds, not just knife and gunshot damage to the bones may be discovered on body.”
If there were no visible gunshot or stab wounds what could have happened to this woman? I asked this very same question to Dr. Morrone, and his answer gets a person thinking. “Men rarely shoot women but suffocation and strangulation or blunt force traumas are involved. Blunt force trauma has been seen it bones hundreds and thousands of years old.”