Cadaver dogs on Sunday scoured the area around the Horseshoe Lake Estates home of Sheryl Siddall, 57, who has been missing since Sept. 12. These specially-trained dogs and their handlers with Texas Search and Rescue were deployed on boats to help search the large lake behind Siddall’s home on the 500 block of CR 2859, but they were not able to find Siddall’s body or any sign of her.
The fruitless search was called off Sunday afternoon and plans were made for a dive team from Baytown Police Department to check out a few places of interest in the lake on Monday, according to Capt. David Meyers, a spokesperson for Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
Siddall’s disappearance was reported to Liberty County Sheriff’s Office last week after family members grew concerned when they were unable to reach her by phone. Donald Lee Hassler, 52, who was living in Siddall’s home has been identified as a person of interest in her disappearance. He remains in the Liberty County Jail without bond on a parole violation for Felon in Possession of a Firearm.
Inside Siddall’s home, authorities reportedly found 15-20 firearms. They also found Siddall’s purse and other belongings, and her vehicle is still parked outside her home. Her cell phone, which last pinged from a cell phone tower near her home on Sept. 12, appears to be turned off or is no longer working.
The search for Siddall began on Monday, Sept. 18, after a Liberty County sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to her home for a welfare check. When Deputy Joel Davila entered the home, he immediately became suspicious after noticing what appeared to be blood on the plywood floor of the kitchen, according to Meyers.
Hassler has not been charged in Siddall’s disappearance.
“The idea of a murder charge has been discussed with the Liberty County District Attorney’s Office,” Meyers said at a press conference on Sunday. “At this point in time, we are not to the point where that charge can be filed… if we can get enough evidence to substantiate that charge, then it will be filed, but that’s at the discretion of the Liberty County District Attorney’s Office.”
District Attorney Jennifer Bergman and some of her staff assisted in the investigation and collection of evidence on Sunday.
Initially, it was believed that Hassler and Siddall had known each other for more than two years; however, that appears to be untrue, Meyers said.
“They (Siddall’s family) do not know how long he has known her,” Meyers said.
When asked if there is any hope that Siddall is still alive, Meyers said that hope is fading with each passing day.
“Our investigation leads us to where we are at today with the cadaver dogs. There is always hope. but we are gearing toward Ms. Siddall being deceased,” he said.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at 936-336-4500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-392-STOP (7867). Any caller providing information to Crime Stoppers that leads to the arrest of a felony offender may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $1,000. The caller’s identity will remain anonymous.