One year later: East Texas teen still missing, four suspects arrested
One man is charged with capital murder
JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KLTV) - This week marks one year since then 18-year-old Tyress Gipson of Jacksonville was reported missing. He was never found, despite four people being arrested in connection with his disappearance.
“I will never to the death of me give up hope in bringing my son home because it’s just something that I’m not gonna do,” Tyress’ mother LaVance Hill-Wooten said.
On the evening of August 22, 2020, Hill-Wooten said Tyress told her he was heading out for the evening. It’s not known where he went when he left. She says she didn’t think much of it since he regularly left to hang out with friends.
“Sunday the 23rd when I got off work, and I have so many text messages and phone calls and I’m thinking − people are saying where is Tyress? Have you seen Tyress? And I’m like is this a joke or something because this is not funny?” Hill-Wooten said.
That same day, the family reported Tyress missing to Jacksonville police. After a year of multiple searches and following leads, the former Jacksonville High School football player has never been found.
“It’s a whole year later and I feel like I don’t know no more today than I did a year ago,” Hill-Wooten said.
Less than two weeks after Tyress was reported missing, Jacksonville police arrested four people in connection with his disappearance. All were originally charged with aggravated kidnapping, but since then, Cameron Shead had his charge upgraded to include capital murder.
Jacksonville Police Chief Joe Williams said he can’t say exactly why that charge was added, but they have evidence to support it. Shead is still in the Cherokee County Jail along with Breonna Jiminez and Jermaryon Lane, who are all charged with aggravated kidnapping.
Derrick Hicks, also charged with aggravated kidnapping, bonded out of jail in December 2020. Chief Williams said the four are not cooperating with the investigation. Tyress’ mother said she doesn’t believe her son knew these people.
“If he is in the bottom of the river, I’m trying to find somebody right now − I’ve been emailing folks to go and scour the bottom of the river. Where is my son?” Hill-Wooten said.
The answer to that question remains to be seen. In the meantime, the family is keeping his memory alive with pictures of him all throughout their home.
“That’s one thing − people can’t steal your memories. They will forever be with you,” Hill-Wooten said.
What happened to Tyress Gipson after he left the family home on August 22, 2020, is still not clear. Jacksonville police say the investigation is ongoing, and they have an investigator dedicated to the case.
If you have any information on Tyress’ disappearance, call Jacksonville police at (903) 586-2546.
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