Cedar Creek Lake

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Cold case review team to investigate quarter-century-old Cedar Creek Lake murder mystery


David Webb is a veteran journalist who has written for the mainstream and alternative media for three decades. He is now a freelancer who lives in the Cedar Creek Lake area.

Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse recently announced he turned two cold murder cases -- including a quarter-century-old mystery concerning a prominent Corsicana woman -- to the Sheriff’s Association of Texas Cold Case Review Team.

Shelly Watkins’ bound body was found floating in the Trinity River south of Seven Points on Labor Day in 1993. Her body rose to the surface of the water after mortar products failed to keep it submerged.

The pretty young mother was last seen at her family’s Cedar Creek Lake weekend home. Her husband, a wealthy businessman, reported her missing.

The second case involved Ricky Gene Herriage, whose body was found March 8, 1987, under a bridge next to Walnut Creek.

Hillhouse and two members of his staff presented the cases to the review team in Austin May 10.

“These cases are cold,” Hillhouse said. “But they are not gone, forgotten, ignored or put on some back burner. I want these cases solved, prosecuted and suspects convicted for their terrible crimes."

The cold case team is composed of doctors, prosecutors, lab technicians, retired judges and law enforcement officials at the federal, state and local level.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 800-545-TIPS. Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential. 

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Water stained to lightly stained; 84–87 degrees; 0.65’ low. Black bass are fair on Texas rigged craws near shallow cover, squarebill crankbaits and shakyheads on docks. Crappie are good on minnows on docks with brush. Catfish are fair on trotlines. White bass are good on slabs. Hybrid striper are good on slabs and topwaters.