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August 13, 2013

AREA NEWS: Probe into body found in MW freezer continues

By LIBBY CLUETT | Lone Star News Group

MINERAL WELLS – Although there are no new leads, Mineral Wells Police Chief Dean Sullivan on Monday released several documents related to Thursday’s death of 38-year-old Shannon Sheri Herrin.

In the 911 recording from Herrin’s 20-year-old son calling around 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the young man told dispatch that he “opened up the freezer and she’s in there … I came by to grab a little food and she’s in the freezer.”

The dispatcher twice asked where he found Herrin’s body, the second time seeming to ask, “She’s laying in the freezer?”

A Mineral Wells police officer’s confirmation launched a series of events, including separating the witnesses – possibly three young adults – and securing the house. Detectives then started the process of requesting a search warrant from 29th Judicial District Court Judge Mike Moore, which was issued at 10 p.m. Thursday.

A preliminary autopsy report, which Sullivan shared on Friday, showed “no evident signs of trauma.”

The chief said that based on information from the crime scene, as well as articles gathered under the warrant, “It does not appear there was any foul play. But, the investigation is ongoing.”

According to Sullivan and the warrant list, MWPD detectives, assisted by Texas Ranger Tony Bradford, took a zippered case with drug paraphernalia, Herrin’s cell phone, two laptop computers, a diary from the bedroom, a large water bottle from the deep freeze, a folding pocket knife, Herrin’s prescription medicine bottles and swabs with possible blood from a bedroom door, the deep freeze and Herrin’s body, which was sent to Dallas for autopsy.

The warrant stated that Cecil Ray Huddleston – her husband as of April 2011, according to the Palo Pinto County District Clerk – was the last person to see Herrin and is, therefore, a “person of interest at this time.”

On Friday, MWPD arrested Huddleston, 49, on a blue warrant – violation of parole – and booked him into Palo Pinto County Jail. However, he was released Saturday afternoon when the warrant was lifted by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, according to the Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Department. Sullivan said the arrest was unrelated to the case.

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