The private investigator who led the search to finding missing Moulton woman, Jennifer Marshell White, is speaking out.
White was missing for 4 weeks before Dawn Hendricks and team of volunteers found her body inside an SUV in a the Bank Head area of Milton County.
P.I. Dawn Hendricks held a press conference this morning at Big Spring Park to address what has been a very public and highly criticized case. Hendricks herself is a former Huntsville police officer and doesn't like that the Moulton police department is being attacked, but when she saw that they were struggling 2 weeks into the investigation, she felt compelled to step in. She then reached out to the family and volunteered her service.
"In those first two weeks we had a lot of rain. I woke up, before I even contacted the family, I'd wake up in the middle of the night and sit straight up and I would picture her in the rain. That's a matter of the heart, it has nothing to do with anything else."
Hendricks tells WAAY 31 she has never experienced a case like this as it was difficult to get all of the information she needed. She had a plan all along but this time there were obstacles she couldn't control.
"I have never ever worked anything where I can't almost immediately figure it out. So for me, that was sad, that hurt me, because I thought why can't I get all the information that I need? Why can't I find her?"
Hendricks tells WAAY 31 she is not here to attack what any agency did, she wanted everyone to work together and only had one goal in mind; to find Jennifer. But she didn't do it alone.
A large group of volunteers who brought over 50 jeeps to the Bank Head area are also to thank. Brandy Hutcheson saw a post on Facebook about the search and contacted all the jeep groups she is a part of, the response was overwhelming.
"Basically I just told them when and where and they showed up in hundreds....It was a lot of people."
She tells WAAY 31 it's a huge area to cover with winding trails and no cell reception, but they had the numbers and the plan to do it.
"We had about 10 groups, 10 jeeps going down each road and all of those roads separate eventually. So I told them when that road separates, half of you go one way half of you go the other way, all the way from moulton to the winston county area."
They used maps and CV transmitters to communicate and then less than an hour and half into the search they got a call.
"We were out walking around and she was up near the top where the jeep was and she just started screaming, "Get in the jeep, get in the jeep" so we all took off running towards her. She handed me her phone and she said I need you to get me here and the person on the other end told me where they were are we took off and we were there within a few minutes."
Dawn Hendricks then executed the hardest part of her plan, she went to the car alone where they believed Jennifer was inside.
"I didn't want them to find what I found. I didn't want them to have to see that because those things haunt you and they'll haunt you for the rest of your life."
She then made the call to 911 and the family came to identify that they had in fact found Jennifer, 4 weeks from the day she went missing.
Dawn Hendricks had a message that this is a time for the community to come together and to help this grieving family. The group of volunteers is a perfect example of that, the volunteer told WAAY 31 she had people show up in their honda accords but still wanted to help, so they just hopped in jeeps with strangers and took off.
The results from White's autopsy have not yet been released, however the police have disclosed that they do not suspect foul play to have been involved.