UPDATE: Junior Beebe claims he was having an affair with Amy Henslee when he brought her back to his trailer. That’s when his girlfriend, Tonya Horwath, caught them and shot Amy. Beebe claims he wrestled the gun from her and shot her in self-defense. See update after the jump…
Amy is believed to have died from multiple gunshot wounds the day she disappeared.
early Monday morning. That’s when he last saw his wife and mother of
their two children, Amy Sue Henslee. He called home about mid-morning,
but no one answered the phone.
James Henslee left his home in Hartford Township, Michigan bright and
So he decided to drive back to check on her. The door was locked and no one was home. But Amy’s purse, wallet and ID were still in the house. She hasn’t been seen since.
Relatives say they haven’t heard from the missing mom. Neighbors apparently witnessed nothing suspicious at the time of her disappearance, and police say they have no evidence foul play. But they don’t seem to be releasing all they know.
Detectives believe she’s still alive, though they won’t say what leads them to this belief. And one could get the impression that James Henslee was worried about his wife before she went missing. When most husbands call to find their wives not home, they usually don’t rush back to the house assuming something’s gone wrong.
The cops believe she’s still alive, but concede speed is of the essence in finding her. She’s described as 5-feet-tall and 114 pounds.
As late as yesterday, police in Michigan still believed that Amy willingly left her home, and that she was a “voluntary missing person.” But that optimism would prove incorrect. Last night, officers found her body at the rural home of Junior Lee Beebe, James Henslee’s cousin.
Detectives who earlier discovered blood at the Bangor Township home found Amy and 36-year-old Tonya Howarth shot to death. The two women are believed to have been killed on Monday, the day Amy disappeared. Both were buried on the property, murdered by multiple gunshot wounds. (You can see Amy’s Facebook memorial page here.)
Police have released no motive for the slayings, nor do we know if Amy and Tonya knew each other. Tonya had never been reported missing. A relative has said that Beebe is cooperating with police.
In the wee hours of the morning, the cops were still using Bobcats and shovels to dig in a wooded area of the property. Beebe’s expected to be arraigned this morning for murder.
Friends say Tonya, a mother of two teens, was Beebe’s longtime girlfriend and they’d been together for 20 years. (You can see a Facebook memorial page for her here.) While some say they had a good relationship, neighbors say they were prone to loud fights. Beebe was short-tempered and fancied himself as a cagefighter, though he seemed to get by by fixing cards and selling scrap metal.
Beebe has apparently admitted to the cops that he shot Tonya, but he’s also pleaded not guilty. One report has him claiming that he was having an affair with Amy.
When he brought her back to his trailer, Tonya grabbed his shotgun and killed her, he claims. That’s when Beebe says he wrestled the gun away and shot Tonya in self-defense. He apparently said that he buried them both after panicking.
It sounds like bullshit to us, since a barely employed creep doesn’t make a fetching Lothario for a mother of two. But police believe Amy went willingly when Beebe picked her up at her home. Still, that wouldn’t be unusual since Beebe was her husband’s cousin.
See our last story from the Missing Persons file: Carlina White Reunites With Her Family 23 Years After She Was Kidnapped From Hospital.