SAN ANTONIO – A missing San Antonio woman whose severed head was found in southwest Louisiana was murdered, according to Cameron Parish Sheriff Ron Johnson.
“There was no accident involved,” he told KSAT 12 News during an interview conducted via Zoom.
Johnson announced this week that a positive identification had been made on the head, which was found three years ago.
He said trustees who were clearing litter from a marshy area in March 2018 found the head, with hair and teeth still intact, stuffed into a plastic bag. It was in an area where Johnson said bodies have been dumped in the past.
“(Murderers) believe that these gators, we have an abundance of gators, that they’ll come and eat these bodies or these body parts,” Johnson said.
The discovery was made one month after San Antonio police put out an appeal for information about Hines, who had disappeared from the city’s Northwest Side in December 2017.
Johnson said his investigators spent months trying to track down leads on the remains.
He said with help from Louisiana State University’s Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) lab, they were able to do a digital reconstruction.
A photo from that re-creation was released to the local media in Louisiana.
Johnson said a tipster who saw it then matched it to a photo of Hines. Investigators were able to make a positive identification using Hines’ dental records, Johnson said.
“Nothing came up positive until this lead right here,” he said.
Johnson said one big question now is where Hines was murdered.
He said there is no record of her ever being in Cameron Parish while she was alive.
“We can’t find any family ties, any connections, any job connections,” he said.
For that reason, he said it’s possible she may have been murdered somewhere else, possibly in San Antonio.
He said he plans to turn over the information he has to SAPD for further investigation.
Johnson said he plans on turning over his findings to SAPD, but an SAPD spokeswoman said homicides are usually handled by the agency in whose jurisdiction a victim or remains are found. Therefore, it appears this is a homicide case that will be handled by Cameron Parish.