A welfare check Monday morning for a missing Liberty County woman has led to an investigation into her possible murder, authorities say. Sheryl Ann Siddall, 57, of Horseshoe Lake Estates north of Romayor, last spoke to her family members on Sept. 12.
Since that time, her cell phone has reportedly gone silent, last pinging from a cell phone tower near her home. All of her belongings, including her purse and car, are still at her house on the 500 block of CR 2859, said Capt. David Meyers, a spokesperson for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
Around 11:30 a.m. Monday, LCSO deputies were sent to Siddall’s home to check on her. They were greeted at the door by a man who told them he lives at the home with Siddall.
“He is claiming she went to Oklahoma to see her sister. He also claims he is buying the house from Ms. Siddall,” said Meyers.
The man, identified as Donald Lee Hassler, 52, reportedly gave deputies consent to search the property for Siddall. When the deputies entered the home, they immediately suspected foul play and exited.
“The deputies noticed what appeared to be blood in the kitchen area, so they backed out and called for investigators. When we arrived, we also found what we believe to be blood soaked into the plywood floor of the home,” Meyers said. A preliminary test at the scene revealed that the substance is likely blood.
Siddall’s home, like many others in her community, borders Horseshoe Lake.
“There is possible evidence showing something going from the house to the water, so I notified Game Warden Jake Noxon. He came out with his boat equipped with side sonar to search the lake. The Texas Rangers were invited out to the scene to help with interviewing Hassler, who is our suspect,” Meyers said.
Noxon searched the water for a couple of hours, but the search yielded no new information.
Hassler, who is on parole for charges of Theft of Property and Theft of a Firearm, was arrested at the scene on a charge of Felon in Possession of a Firearm. More than a dozen firearms were removed from the property. As Siddall has yet to be located, the only charge against Hassler at this time is the gun charge; however, more charges may be pending.
Authorities plan to return to the property Tuesday afternoon to search with cadaver dogs.