Cadaver dogs search residential area in Tarkington for missing Dayton woman

Liberty County Sheriff's Investigator Mark Ellington (facing away from the camera) and Deputy James McQueen discuss the case of a missing Dayton woman that led to cadaver dogs being used to search an area in Tarkington on Saturday morning.

The search for a missing Dayton woman, Kristy Nicole Holmes, 40, led investigators with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office to CR 2287 in Tarkington Saturday morning. Using cadaver dogs from Texas Search and Rescue, they scoured a wooded area behind several homes.

Investigator Mark Ellington explained that Holmes’ cell phone last pinged from a cell phone tower in that area in the late evening and early morning hours between March 12-13. Since that time, her cell phone has gone silent. Her family and friends have not heard from her, leading investigators to suspect that she may have come to harm.

Kristy Nicole Holmes

“We believe foul play may be involved in this case. She was seeing an individual and we did some historical phone records and it came up that this area was the last place her phone was used. This road is an access point to a wooded area behind his residence,” Ellington said.

The cadaver dogs are specifically trained to find human remains, Ellington said. The search ended around noon when the dogs were unable to find anything suspicious.

The case was originally investigated by Dayton Police Detective Terri Hughes. Ellington said that the sheriff’s office has since become involved because of the potential for a crime scene outside of Dayton.

Holmes was involved in an altercation on March 10 in the Dayton area. Police were called to the property where the incident allegedly occurred and Holmes was escorted from the property by police to a Valero Station on S. Cleveland St. at FM 1960 in Dayton. She reportedly planned to call a friend for a ride. That was the last time she was seen.

She is described as 5-foot, 3-inches tall, weighing 115 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes.

Ellington said that the investigation into Holmes’ disappearance will continue. Anyone with information that could help detectives is asked to call 936-336-4500.

Cadaver dogs with Texas Search and Rescue prepare to search for a missing Dayton woman on Saturday in the Tarkington area.
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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


  1. I know her. She used to come in at west side Chevron on 1960 in dayton. Mike an Holley store. She was always hyper acting but was not rude at all. The people she came in with all the time, have kinda disappeared to. Haven’t seen them. She liked to play the machines there an spin in store. Hope they find her.

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