By Clint Foster and Libby Cluett
A preliminary autopsy report on Shannon Sheri Herrin, 38, indicates “no evident signs of trauma,” according to Mineral Wells Police Chief Dean Sullivan.
“In looking at information from the crime scene and articles gathered under a search warrant, it does not appear there was any foul play,” he said, adding, “But, the investigation is ongoing.”
In a search warrant obtained by the Index, Herrin’s 20-year-old son said he went into the house to get food and found his mother in a “chest style deep freezer in the garage” of the home in the 1400 block of S.E. 19th Street.
He called the Mineral Wells Police Department around 6:30 p.m. and officers went to Herrin’s residence in southeast Mineral Wells.
Sullivan said police who were dispatched to the call confirmed the report and proceeded to secure the house and separated witnesses.
Meanwhile, he said “detectives prepared and secured a search warrant to give us the legal authority to go in and search.”
When the Index went to the home around 9:30 p.m. Thursday, the house was taped off and police were posted at all corners of the yard. Also assisting MWPD on the scene were members of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Ranger Tony Bradford and District Attorney Mike Burns. Sullivan said Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Bobby Hart later pronounced Herrin deceased.
At the request of a MWPD criminal investigator, 29th Judicial District Court Judge Mike Moore issued the search warrant, allowing investigators to examine the property, collect evidence and seize Herrin’s body.
Sullivan said Bradford and MWPD detectives conducted a crime-scene process and transferred Herrin’s body to Dallas for autopsy.
The warrant stated that Cecil Ray Huddleston – her husband as of April 2011, according to the Palo Pinto County District Clerk – was the last person to see Herrin and is, therefore, a “person of interest at this time.”
“I believe that Shannon Sheri Herrin died under suspicious circumstances that require further investigation,” the criminal investigator said within the text of the search warrant.