Missing woman case in Palo Pinto County 'definitely a homicide'


by Jonathan Betz and Monika Diaz / WFAA


Posted on October 30, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 7:24 AM

GIBTOWN, Texas  — A three-year-old boy whose mother disappeared more than a year ago now knows what happened to her.

On Saturday, Palo Pinto County officials said tests confirmed that skeletal remains found in a rural area near Mineral Wells are those of Krishonda "Shonda" Townsend.

"My heart is shattered into a thousand pieces," said her sister, Shelby Townsend.  "I don't know what I'm feeling right now. I miss her so much."

Billboards still stand in Palo Pinto County asking for help finding Townsend after she disappeared leaving a Fourth of July party in 2010.

On Thursday, authorities began recovering the woman's skeletal remains in heavy brush southwest of Mineral Wells after a prospective land buyer stumbled upon them.

"She didn't wind up there by accident," said Palo Pinto County Sheriff Ira Mercer. "From the nature of the dump, it looks like it was definitely a homicide."

Deputies say it's a major break for the cold case. They plan to review the timeline of where Townsend was and who she was with before she disappeared.

Her body was found four miles from where she was last seen in Mineral Wells.

Police found Townsend's ransacked car, but exhaustive searches never provided a clue as to what happened to the missing woman.

"We pray that those who caused her harm will be brought to justice," said her aunt, Lena Rittenbury.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com and mdiaz@wfaa.com