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Pinkie Mae Davis-Herron went missing from Del Valle, TX in either 1976 or 1979, depending on which source you are looking at.  Del Valle is a small suburb of Austin, although according to Wikipedia, Austin annexed some parts of Del Valle in 1990, so Del Valle used to be bigger.   I am not sure if the part of Del Valle she went missing from is now considered Austin or not.  Searches for Tex Golden Nugget (now closed) show the location as both Del Valle and Austin, depending on the source.

According to most sites, she went missing in 1979, and I’ve seen varying dates from January to July to September.  The Texas DOJ site, however, says she went missing in September 1976.    Knowing the correct year would be very helpful in her case, and I will get to the reason shortly.

Pinkie Mae was only 14 when she married in 1970.  She had two children, and was divorced from her husband in 1975.   The day she went missing, she was seen driving to the Tex Golden Nugget, a motel and bar/lounge in Del Valle,where she was employed.   A family friend saw her, and said that Pinkie honked the horn and waved.   She has never been seen again.

I have been unable to find any information relating to the car she was driving – whether it was ever found, or if it went missing with her.   That would also be helpful to know.  Normally when someone goes missing along with their vehicle, it points to a possibility that the person left voluntarily or that the person and/or car ultimately ended up in a body of water, either due to an accident or foul play.  There are several ponds just outside the current border of Del Valle, as well as the Colorado River.  It’s worth noting that Pinkie was a skilled mechanic, and enjoyed working on motorcycles and cars.   Therefore, I would assume she spent time with others who had the same skills and interests – so it isn’t too far fetched, IF she was harmed by someone she knew, that the person would have been capable of dismantling the car.

Now for the unfortunate confusion about the year she went missing.

1979 would suggest an isolated incident.

1976, however, was the year that there was a string of young women who disappeared from the Austin area.  All were around Pinkie’s age, at least two of them (other than Pinkie, who is biracial – Black and Hispanic) were black.

There was Jennifer Joyce Barton, age 21.  She disappeared in May 1976 from the area of 11th and Waller in Austin.  She was with a friend, and they’d planned to see a movie.  She stopped in a bar to get some money from friends there, and ended up staying there.  She was seen getting into a brown van with California plates, with two men.  She was never seen again.  Jennifer was apparently distraught at the time, over the loss of a friend who was killed in February.  (I looked through death certificates – I found only one person in their 20’s-30’s who was killed in February 1976, his name was Steven Lulenski.  He was a nurse at the Brackenridge Hospital emergency room, and was killed inside the ER by a patron who was apparently mentally ill.  Articles indicate that the person who killed Steven had killed before.  He had killed his own uncle in 1971 but was found not guilty by reason of insanity. I am not sure if Steven Lulenski is the friend Jennifer was upset about – He is the only one I found in the Travis County death records, but it’s very possible that Jennifer’s friend died in a different county.

Debra Kay Stewart, 19, also went missing in May 1976 from Austin.  She was driving from Sears in South Austin (her place of employment) to a doctor’s appointment at the University of Texas.   She never arrived at her appointment, and was never seen again.  Debra was ill at the time, suffering from a kidney ailment, although her illness would not have been apparent to people she encountered.   Debra’s car was found shortly after, in East Austin.   It has been suggested that Debra’s disappearance could be related to Jennifer Barton’s, partly because of the timing, and also because both apparently knew people who hung out on 11th street, although it is unknown whether the two knew each other.

Another girl, Brenda Moore, disappeared in March 1976 at age 21.  I do not know her race, and have been unable to find a photograph of her.  She was on her way to work at the Crestview Nursing Home in Austin, where she was a nurse’s aide.  Her car was found in East Austin also, two blocks away from where Debra’s had been found.  She also reportedly suffered from depression.

The fact that Jennifer and Debra went missing within the same month, were both young black women, who frequented the same area does suggest that the two cases could be linked.  The fact that Brenda’s car was found two blocks from where Debra’s car was found suggests that these two could be linked.  The fact that Brenda and Debra were both last seen driving (as was Pinkie) suggests they could be linked also.

As far as I know, no suspects have been named in any of the disappearances – and being that I do not know who Jennifer’s friend was that was killed in February 1976, I have no idea if there was a suspect in that case.  That was what I was trying to find out, to see if I could find any clues that could somehow connect to Pinkie.

Oddly, while Travis County has 3 pages of male unidentified remains listed on NamUs, and one set of remains that they are unsure of the gender, they do not have a single female.   I wonder if they just aren’t great about getting them entered, or if they really don’t have any.

While Pinkie had been involved in a divorce in 1975, I found nothing to indicate that the marriage was abusive or that she was having problems with him at the time of her disappearance.   However, it could be a possibility.  When one goes missing while driving, it’s safe to speculate that she stopped the car for some reason – possibly to pick up a stranger/hitchhiker, possibly a carjacking, but much more likely she stopped for someone she knew.

I also have no further information about the place where she worked, if she was having problems with anyone there, but there is always the possibility that she did arrive there and something happened.   You’d think someone would remember seeing her though, if that were the case.

There is a somewhat confusing entry for Pinkie on MyHeritage.  I’m not too familiar with this site, it appears to be a genealogy site that pulls data from other genealogy sites and pieces it together so that a person’s life events are all on one page.   Some of the information on Pinkie is correct – the birth year, mother’s name, and the marriage/divorce involving Mr. Herron.  Those match up to the actual records I found.   A couple things I am unsure of.  MyHeritage lists a father, while Pinkie’s birth record only mentions a mother.   MyHeritage states that she was married a second time, to an individual other than Mr. Herron.  I can find no record of that marriage anywhere, but strangely, I DID come across that last name while researching – it is the last name of the person who owned the Tex Golden Nugget.   And lastly, MyHeritage shows a death date year of 1989 for Pinkie.  I could find no record of this in the SSDI or the Texas Death Index.  It could be that she was declared deceased after having been missing for so long, but typically it would be listed in the indexes.  So I am curious where this additional information came from.   There WAS a Pinkie Mae Davis who died in 1989, but she was born in 1914, I think, so clearly not this Pinkie.

I hope Pinkie is found soon, she seems to have a lot of family and friends who miss her terribly.

Sources:

The Charley Project

Official Cold Case Investigations

AdopteeConnect

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3 thoughts on “Pinkie Mae Davis Herron

  1. Hi.. Just found your commendable work today k/t your 2014 post that included Mary “Little Mearl” McClure from Talking Rock, Georgia.

    Date of disappearance certainly matters greatly. The… Brackenridge Hospital emergency room, and Crestview Nursing Home tie leap off this page at me.

    They inspire the question…. Did anyone work or volunteer at both so that both women were comfortable with that person’s presence?

    If Steven had in fact been the friend Jennifer was so distraught over, she wouldn’t have had to work at the hospital to have had contact with someone who worked or volunteered there. It could have been someone she met and became familiar with while socializing with Steven…. if she did even know Steven at all.

    Steven being killed by someone at the hospital… What EXACTLY were the circumstances that caused that? Did someone at the hospital that day… I don’t know… make an oopsie “mistake” that directly set up the situation during which Steven was killed?

    Or did the circumstances of Steven’s death all and only involve Steven’s own procedural decision making with no one else involved at all?

    What I’m thinking is if someone else was involved in whatever happened to Steven, did that person or those persons have ties to the hospital, too?

    Just thinking out loud.. 🙂

    • The information about Steven’s incident is here. http://inglisopinion.com/healthcare/the-story-behind-a-plaque

      I have no idea if this was the friend Jennifer was distraught about that had been killed, it was the only such case I could find in the death records for the county, but her friend could have been from elsewhere.

      There were at least 3 young girls that disappeared from Austin in 1976, possibly 4 counting Pinkie, but some sites say Pinkie went missing in 1976 and others say 1979. I think the other 3 are likely connected though.

      • That’s interesting. I do hear what you’re saying about Steven being just one possibility for whom she was allegedly mourning. Regarding the date of when she went missing, I like your Texas DOJ resource as being more the one to trust. The others saying 1979, I’d wonder where they got that. I’d find it easy to see a little conspiracy in that. Am saying that *mostly* in an “off the cuff” way but can’t help having a tiny bit of very real wonder go with it.

        This case caught my eye on your front page during my first visit here because of the name. I’d never heard that name before…. until a few months ago when I saw something about a missing female here in Georgia. Tosha Herron of Buford. I’m into birds and birding so her name’s resemblance to Herons jumped out. Her case happened sometime last year with very odd circumstances. She didn’t just disappear. They found a bloodied up car that hinted at accident in addition to other.

        I don’t know Tosha’s ethnicity. Only the “missing” part is ever of primary interest. Women of all colors have been disappearing in my state the last few years. Children, too, for that matter, but that hints more at the trafficking and sex trade kind of deal. Some of my state’s missing very sadly do show up deceased.

        Yes, I do see that you’re selectively choosing older cases which basically have long been forgotten. Tosha’s is only getting a mention because of that name tie there.

        Women as VIOLENT perpetrators can never be ruled out, even in serial cases. Most folks could never imagine what some who present themselves as loving “mommies” are capable of pulling off in their spare time. Most recently accused female here in Georgia appears to have only been a couple days old. 50-something female and her 30-something male friend are accused of murdering her ex-husband’s new 50-something fiancee. Hats off to Law Enforcement who helped bring a rapid turn around there.

        There was another case where it was a mother/daughter deal. They were jealous of a third female who often shared lovingly of her #Life the way people do now. That poor girl appears to have been murdered purely because she was happy……..

        My attention span comes and goes, but your shtuff here has bumped something out of the way to push itself into ~Top 10 of interest. I’m going to try to drag up some info on other cases I came across in last couple years. All males. Seems like there were at least 3. 1980’s. If you haven’t already shared something about them, I’ll let you know what’s riding on local rumor mills. My memory is that it wasn’t much except for names and potentially dates…..

        Thank you for the work you’re doing on behalf of the Missing…..

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