Arrest Made In Connection With Missing Mabank Woman's Death - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/30/2007-Mabank

Arrest Made In Connection With Missing Mabank Woman's Death

A murder arrest is made in the case of a missing East Texas woman. 44 year old Johnson W. Burris is in the Van Zandt County jail, charged with killing 62 year old Diane Hopson.

Hopson has been missing for nearly two weeks and so far, authorities have not been able to find her body.

Deputies got the call from Diane Hopson's daughter Monday November 19th. Her mother was missing and large amounts of blood found on the back porch.

"Deputies went out checked the area and found amount of what appeared to be blood with drag marks. Her purse was still there with drivers license, cell phone, vehicle. So robbery was not a motive in this," said Investigator James Whitt, Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office "She doesn't miss work on a regular basis, she always talks to her daughter and nobody has seen or heard from her since that night."

Neighbors told Police they heard an argument the evening of Sunday November 18th, and the last car seen at her house, a light colored truck belonging to 44 year old Johnson Burris.

"He lived a mile and a half away. They have had a relationship. He told us they knew each other about 15 years he has done odd and end work over at the place off and on," said Whitt."

"We pulled him in looked at his vehicle and there was sufficient evidence, blood evidence in the vehicle," said Whitt.

Burress later admitted he was at Hopson's house working on her tractor that day. He is now charged with murder, but a crucial part of this case has still not turned up.

"Without a body there is still a lot of questions we have," said Whitt, "We are getting a little bit more information and until then we are trying to nail down an area to look."

Neighbor's say was incredibly kind, helping anyone who needed it.

 "She would bring people in to get them on their feet. We pray for her everyday we lift her up in our prayers," said Patty Pierce, neighbor.

"I don't know what to make of it, but you know,she's a good person.

Authorities say in this rural area there are so many places the body could be they are asking for help from you.

"I want to follow up on every lead that I get. Whether somebody else says there was someone else there," said Whitt, "I want to look for additional suspects or anybody else with additional information. Until we have a body. This is an open investigation."

If you have any information you are asked to contact the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Department or their crimestoppers line (903) 567-STOP.

Now Burris is being held in the Van Zandt County jail and bond is set at a million dollars.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

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