Cold Case: Missing Woman Case Reopened After 30 Years

Around Arkansas
MAGNOLIA, AR — It’s been four months since real estate agent Beverly Carter’s murder. As the investigation played out, many Arkansans recognized the similarities between Carter’s case and a decades old case in Magnolia.

“I remember like it was yesterday, where I was working and where we heard it on the radio,” Magnolia resident Hal Jean said.

Planted on nearly every street of a southwest Arkansas city is someone who knows something about a missing woman from Magnolia.

“It’s given me a lot of sleepless nights, trying to keep going with it,” Columbia County Sheriff Mike Loe said.

Since 1979, Sheriff Loe has made it his mission to find out what happened to his college classmate Mary Jimmie “Bobo” Shinn.

“I think this is the only case out of all of my career that I’ve been personally attached to. This one, this one hit home,” he said.

The 25 year old never came home after showing a house she renovated to a potential buyer on July 20, 1978. Her abandoned car was later found in what used to be a Smitty’s grocery store parking lot. Loe says investigators’ initial work was thorough, yet officials never named a suspect, and more than 30 years later the Magnolia mystery still stands.

“It’s been something the community that it’s been a loss,” Jean said.

But during those decades, Loe has never left the case. The evidence files are still fixtures in his office. “There’s an answer to everything,” he said. “We sat down, looked at the case file and decided to start over.”

Loe and a trio of investigators are starting over from scratch. “Start reinterviewing people, start checking leads, that maybe the early investigators didn’t check that we maybe know a little bit about now.”

For the first time, the findings will be sent to the F.B.I’s behavioral science unit that specializes in criminal profiling.

“We’ve identified a couple of areas that you really can’t go in to today that wasn’t done… hat got overlooked.”

The federal resources are what this longtime sheriff says could lead him to answers he’s been searching for the last three decades and possibly fulfill the final assignment in law enforcement.

“My hope is that I can resolve this before I go home,” he said.

Leaving no lead overlooked and no leaf unturned.

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