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MISSING IN EAST TEXAS: Kelly Wilson - 25 years later

Gilmer, Texas (KETK) - The case was one that sent shock waves throughout East Texas, with twists and turns that damaged the lives of many. 

On January 5, 1992, Kelly Dae Wilson vanished in Gilmer at the age of 17.

The then-high school student was last seen leaving the video store where she worked in downtown Gilmer.

According to The Gilmer Mirror, she left work and drove to deposit her check at a nearby bank. However, she never made it home. 

Her stepfather found her car the next morning in the video store parking lot. He called police after discovering her tires had been slashed. Police said there was no sign of a struggle, but there was also no evidence to help officials locate her. 

Wilson was last seen wearing cut-off blue jeans, a purple rugby shirt with red, gold and white insignia and brown loafers. She was wearing a gold dome ring, gold emerald ring, gold diamond inset Mexican eagle coin ring, gold pinky ring, gold chain bracelet, gold watch and triangle earrings. Kelly had blonde hair and had a retainer on her lower teeth.

Her manager at the video store, Joe Henry, was the last to see Wilson that night.

"At first I thought maybe she just stayed out all night," said Henry. "I really got concerned, because she was scheduled to work at noon. When she didn't show up, I began to be concerned." 

Henry was among the first group of people investigators questioned. However, he had multiple alibis and was cleared after passing a polygraph test. 

Many others were questioned in the case, but only one person would ever be charged. 

Michael Biby, then 17, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief in the tire-slashing incident. However, he was never connected to the Wilson's disappearance. 

Police named a prime suspect, Chris Denton, Wilson's boyfriend at the time. But, with no body having been located, he was never fully charged. Even up until his death from cancer in 2004, Denton never admitted to kidnapping her.

About two years after her disappearance, a shocking turn of events took place. Eight people, including Gilmer Police Sgt. James Brown, were arrested and charged in her disappearance and death. 

False claims were brought up, saying the group kidnapped, raped and murdered Wilson, as part of a satanic cult ritual. 

These claims were dismissed within months. 

But, for some, the damage had been done and the question still remained...Where is Kelly Wilson? 

In February 2017, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released a new age progression photo for the 25-year-old East Texas case.

The latest age-progressed picture shows what officials believe Wilson would look like at 42-years-old.


 


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