Debra Denise Mackey was reported missing to Lubbock Police on January 1, 1982. Now, 34 years later, Angela Terrell has a difficult time speaking about her missing sister.
“We loved my sister, she was a people person, she got along with everybody, everybody got along with her. I didn’t even know of one enemy that she had,” said Terrell.
“These cases get cold but they don’t get forgotten,” said LPD Lieutenant Ray Mendoza.
LPD said Mackey was in the area of 1711 Ave. E., in Lubbock. Terrell said Mackey was 19 when she disappeared.
“We have our suspicions about what happened to her. She didn’t just jump up and leave, because she loved us and her only child,” Terrell said.
Mendoza said the officers who took up the investigation in 2011 at the family’s request had to essentially start from scratch.
“The first thing those officers tried to do was find that case and find out what had happened with it. That was a chore in itself because in 1982 that was just a written, handwritten report. So detectives had to go find that report and go to work on it,” Mendoza said.
When Mackey went missing, according to police, she was 5 feet tall, weighed about 110 pounds, and was seen wearing green pants, plaid shirt, checkered plaid hooded coat, brown shoes, and had a red and white bandana on her head.
“It has been real tough. My kids never knew her, she has grandkids that never knew her. She was robbed of that chance. And it’s so unfair,” Terrell explained.
Terrell said Mackey had a difficult past, living her younger years with “kind of a wild childhood.”
Terrell added that Mackey was impregnated at age 11, which was tough for her family. When they moved to Lubbock from Martin County, “it seemed like her life was going downhill real fast. She was living a kind of fast life.”
Terrell said their mother died in 1993 not knowing what happened in her daughter’s disappearance.
“We just want closure for my family. We want closure,” Terrell said, acknowledging the prospect that Mackey could be dead.
“The detective… has been taking to a lot of people,” Mendoza explained. “Talking to one person that leads him to another person and so forth. But nothing yet, nothing concrete.”
“We hope that by putting this out again, a second time, or a third time even, that we’re hopefully going to get somebody that grows a conscience if they did harm to her and comes forward,” Mendoza added.
“If somebody that knows somebody that did something, no matter how minute that information may be, it may be the piece that puts everything together,” he said.
“Every time we have a family get together that’s all we talk about, how we miss her, her life was stolen. We don’t know what, we don’t know what,” said Mackey’s cousin Mary Mcdade. “Thirty four years, that’s a long time for you not to know what happened to one of your family members.”
Mcdade said family members could only find one existing photo of Mackey, which they cherish.
“All we want is closure, and proper burial for my sister,” Terrell added.
Mendoza said closure for Mackey’s family was paramount.
“They want closure,” he said. “We want to be able to provide that closure for this family. They’ve been victimized here and it has been a long time coming. We need to help them out.”
Police asked anyone with information to call Crime Line at (806) 741-1000 or reach out to Detective Madrigal at (806) 775-3072.