LUBBOCK, Texas — For the first time, officials on Thursday publicly identified a body found in 1982 as Debra Mackey. As part of the announcement, the Texas Department of Public Safety and Lubbock Police Department asked for the public’s help in that case. The remains of a headless Jane Doe were found more than 40 years ago in Hale County.
Mackey was 20 years old when she disappeared and her family reported her missing to police, according to LPD.
A little over a month later, a body was found in Hale County but the remains couldn’t be identified, LPD said. In 1983, American serial killer Henry Lee Lucas confessed to being responsible for the death, but it was later determined to be untrue. Lucas’ case was dismissed in 1986 and Mackey’s body was buried in 1993.
Previous reports said her body, still only known as Jane Doe, was exhumed in 2015 when doubts arose about the medical examiner’s conclusions that she was a Caucasian female. DoeNetwork a non-profit focused on unidentified and missing persons, said that the skull and body did not match and she was actually an African-American female.
On November 15, 2022, LPD said the remains were “positively identified as that of Debra Mackey.”
At the time of the press release, DPS was the lead agency regarding the homicide investigation.
Anyone with information about the case was asked to call Crime Line at (806) 741-1000 and could be eligible for a reward up to $5,000 if the responsible party is identified or arrested.