LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) — A blood stain spotted inside a missing woman’s home in Liberty County led deputies to launch a criminal investigation this week.
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According to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, at about 11:30 a.m. on Monday, a deputy went to check on a home following reports of a missing woman, 57-year-old Sheryl Ann Siddall.
Deputies said Siddall’s family had not heard from her since last week, on Sept. 12.
When arriving at Siddall’s home, the responding deputy was greeted by a man named Donald Lee Hassler, 52, who reportedly let him in to search the house.
Authorities said that as the deputy made his way into the kitchen, he found what’s believed to be a blood stain on the plywood floor.
The deputy immediately backed out of the room and called for investigators, suspecting foul play.
Hassler allegedly told investigators he was purchasing the home from Siddall but claims she told him she was leaving for Oklahoma to visit her sister. However, deputies said all of Siddall’s belongings, including her car and purse, were found inside the home, and her phone was last pinged from a cell tower nearby.
Investigators also found evidence suggesting something was dragged into Horseshoe Lake, which is just behind the woman’s home, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies said that following a search with side-sonar equipment, no additional evidence was found.
Hassler, who was said to be on parole, was arrested and booked into Liberty County Jail on a charge of felon in possession of firearms. Deputies said he could face additional charges.
LCSO said it planned to return to the area on Tuesday to search the property with cadaver dogs. ABC13 has a crew at the scene working to gather more information.