Austin, TX

What Happened To These Missing Women Who Vanished From Austin, Texas Months Apart?

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished
Pinkie Mae Davis-Herron (top left), Jennifer Barton (top right), Debra Stewart (bottom left), Brenda Moore (bottom right)Photo byThe Charley Project

23-year-old Pinkie Mae Davis-Herron got married in 1970 at the young age of 14 years old. She and her husband had two children and the couple divorced in 1975.

Pinkie, who is a tomboy, enjoyed working on cars and motorcycles. She is a drummer who played in local bands, reports Whereabouts Still Unknown. Pinkie worked in Del Valle, Texas, a suburb of Austin, at the Golden Nugget, a local motel with a bar. Sometime around Labor Day, Pinkie was seen driving in the direction of her job. She saw a friend, blew her horn, and waved. This is the last known sighting of Pinkie.

Whereabouts Still Unknown reports that her daughter reports that her car was eventually found at the Texas Golden Nugget. Her daughter said her mother usually kept several items in her car, but the vehicle appeared recently cleaned. Her family said it was uncharacteristic of Pinkie to keep the vehicle so clean.

According to Whereabouts Still Unknown, Pinkie's friend attempted to report her missing, but the authorities refused to take the report. Her daughter was finally able to report her mother missing when she became an adult.

Because she was a very young child when her mom vanished, she was unclear of the year, and she guessed the year was 1979. This is why some outlets report her year of disappearance as 1979.

Pinkie Mae Davis-Herron is 5'3" and weighed 120-130 pounds when she vanished.

After her daughter spoke with family and friends, she determined her mother disappeared in September 1976, reports Whereabouts Still Unknown. 1976 is the same year three other black women vanished from Austin, Texas.

Brenda Moore disappeared on March 17, 1976, Jennifer Barton vanished on May 16, 1976, and Debra Stewart disappeared on May 21, 1976.

19-year-old Brenda Moore was married to Willie P. Moore and she worked as a nursing assistant at Cresthaven Nursing Home in Austin, Texas. Although she was married, she and her husband were separated, and Brenda's husband said she was dating another man. Her new boyfriend allegedly drove a blue pickup truck, the Doe Network reports.

On March 7, 1976, Brenda was seen on the east side of the city of Austin around 3:15 pm. That is the last known sighting of Brenda.

Her co-workers later located her abandoned vehicle in the 1900 block of Coleto Street on March 12, 1976, reports KXAN. The car was locked with the keys inside. Brenda has never been located.

Brenda Moore is 5’0” and weighed 125 pounds when she vanished.

Jennifer Barton was a well-behaved child raised in an upper-middle-class family. During her senior year at Reagan High School, she started dating a man who was a pimp and a drug dealer reports the Charley Project. Jennifer dropped out of school. Once her boyfriend went to prison, Jennifer began using heroin and working as a prostitute. In February of 1976, another pimp Jennifer was dating was robbed and murdered. Rumors began circulating that Jennifer had set the man up, and she was afraid of his friends harming her. Soon after his murder, Jennifer’s apartment was broken into and vandalized. Someone pinned a pair of her underwear to a wall and wrote the word “blood” in red paint nearby, reports the Charley Project.

On May 16, 1976, 20-year-old Jennifer Barton had plans to meet a friend at a movie theater in Austin, Texas. She stopped at a bar on East 11th and Waller Street to get some money. She met two African American men she talked to for about half an hour. Jennifer told a friend in the bar that one of the men offered her $25 to have sex with him. She decided to leave with the two men.

One of the men exited the back door, and the other left via the front door. The man who walked out of the front door got into a large brown van with teardrop windows, a large whip antenna, a spare tire on the back, and California license plates. According to the Charley Project, when the van pulled off and turned the corner, the second man got inside. Jennifer has never been seen again.

Jennifer Barton is 5’7” and weighed 135 pounds when she vanished.

19-year-old Debra Stewart was a communications student at the University of Texas who was working a part-time job at Sears near Hyde Park in Austin, Texas. On May 21, 1976, she left work early, feeling ill, and headed to a doctor’s appointment, reports the Charley Project. She never arrived at the University of Texas Health Center.

Her vehicle was located abandoned between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm the same day in the 1800 block of Ferdinand Street, a block from where Brenda Moore’s car was found. Debra’s car was found locked with the keys inside, just like Brenda’s vehicle. There was no sign of Debra and she has never been seen again. Debra Stewart is 5'1" and weighed 130 pounds when she vanished.

“Somebody robbed her lifetime. She could’ve married, had a career, children, and it’s a mystery as to who took that away from her,” Mary Bell, a volunteer with The Doe Network, told KXAN. “We publish missing person cases, and we also publish unidentified bodies."

Debra, Jennifer, and Pinkie Mae frequented the same area. Debra and Jennifer had some of the same friends in common, reports the Charley Project.

“There are some similarities here, but is there anything that’s definitive to say that the same thing happened to each female? No there’s not,” Detective Tanya Jefferson told KXAN.

If you have any information on any of these missing women, please contact the Austin Police Department at 512-974-5250.

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