A nurse is found murdered in her Texas home and her live-in boyfriend and his nine-year-old son have vanished.
On December 27, 1993, Jack White went to visit his daughter, Latricia, at her home in Lockhart, Texas. Latricia, a 38-year old nurse, hadn’t been seen or heard from in almost 24 hours. Jack said that he was worried:
Jack rushed into the home and found his daughter in her bedroom:
Latricia White had been shot six times in the head with a .22 caliber weapon. Her death stunned her friends and neighbors. She left behind two children and lots of unanswered questions. Despite the violent nature of the crime, there were no signs of a struggle, and nothing in her house had been disturbed.
Just as puzzling was the disappearance of Latricia’s live-in boyfriend, Lee Wackerhagen, a local trucker nicknamed Dub. Also missing was Dub’s nine year old son, Chance, who had been visiting for the Christmas holidays. Sheriff Mike Bading of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department said that meant they had two possible scenarios to investigate:
Three days later, Dub’s pickup truck was found abandoned in Austin, Texas, about thirty miles from the crime scene. In the truck, investigators found Dub’s hunting rifle, which had not been fired, his checkbook, and his wallet. In the back were a toolbox, a spare tire, and Christmas gifts. Some of the gifts were unopened, and they were all streaked with blood. According to Sheriff Bading:
Could that someone else have been Dub or Chance? The question could not be answered. All of the blood tests were inconclusive.
The police and the White family believe that Dub murdered Latricia in a jealous rage. But Dub’s family and friends are convinced that he and Chance also met with foul play. Barbara Stage is Dub’s sister:
Dub’s friend, Melissa Reagan, was shocked:
To the police, however, Dub was the obvious suspect, especially after they began to take a close look at his relationship with Latricia. According to Latricia’s family, Dub was extremely jealous and suspicious. Dub’s ex-wife and Chance’s mother, Gaye Williams, agreed:
Dub’s son, Chance, was often the focus of his arguments with Latricia. Two days before Christmas, a heated argument led to Dub packing his bags and threatening to leave. Just three nights later, Dub, Chance, and Latricia were seen enjoying themselves at a local restaurant. The argument was apparently forgotten. But late the very next day, Latricia’s father found her shot to death in her bedroom. Dub and Chance had disappeared. Three days later, Dub was formally charged with first-degree murder. Four months passed with no sign of Dub or Chance. Then, Chance’s maternal grandfather, O.P. Williams, got an anonymous phone call at his home:
Could the plea for help actually have come from Chance? Dub’s family is convinced the answer is no. They believe that the phone call was a hoax and that Dub and Chance were murdered. But Latricia’s family and the police believe that Dub is a killer and that he’s still very much alive.
UPDATE: Investigators now have evidence that Lee and Chance Wackerhagen were victims of foul play. It is believed that this was a crime of passion and that they were murdered by someone closely associated to the family.