While the search for a missing Gibtown mother inches closer to the anniversary of her disappearance, investigators are still working to uncover information about the whereabouts of Krishonda "Shonda" Townsend, 20.
The recent case against Jeffrey Allen Maxwell, 58, who allegedly held a 62-year-old Parker County woman captive and sexually assaulted her for 12 days in his Corsicana home, led authorities to question the suspect in regards to the missing mom.
The 62 year-old woman, whose residence and vehicle were allegedly burned to the ground by Maxwell, lived near Whitt. Townsend lived near Perrin, in Gibtown. Perrin and Whitt share a school district and are only miles apart.
According to Mineral Wells Police Chief Mike McAllester, there is nothing to indicate a connection between Townsend and Maxwell. He also said the proximity of the women's homes made speaking to Maxwell another step in performing a complete investigation.
McAllester said his department attempted to arrange an interview with Maxwell last week.
"He refused to speak with us," McAllester said.
McAllester also said Townsend's family does not know Maxwell and does not believe the young mother new him either.
"He has never been considered a suspect," McAllester said.
Maxwell reportedly spoke with the Texas Ranger leading the Whitt investigation, according to McAllester, who said the Texas Ranger was also assigned to the Townsend case.
"The Texas Ranger on Shonda's case is also involved in the abduction case and has spoken with Maxwell," McAllester said. "He denied any knowledge of the case and assured the Ranger that he knew nothing about Shonda."
Townsend was last seen by friends on the night of July 4, 2010 in Mineral Wells. The last communication from the then 19-year-old woman was reportedly received in the early morning hours of July 5, when she sent a text message to her mother, informing her that she was on her way home. That message was received by Carolyn Rittenbury sometime after midnight on July 5.
The investigation to track down information on the young mother involves multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Texas Rangers, Mineral Wells Police Department and Palo Pinto and Jack county sheriffs' offices. Gibtown is located in Jack County.
Lending a Hand
As the search for Townsend continues, a benefit has been organized to raise funds to support her son, Haiden, who was just two years old when his mother disappeared.
The benefit is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the Palo Pinto County Sheriff's Posse building on FM 1821 North. The event will feature an auction, live music and food for a $10 cover charge.
Individuals or business who would like to donate auction items should call 817-366-6676.