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Mother of missing woman pleading for persons of interest to come forward

“She’s just been through a lot. You know, and I think it really got to her. She made some wrong choices, wrong people to trust,” said Karen Hendrix.

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Police have named two persons of interest in the case of a woman who has been missing for more than three months.

Becky Hendrix, a 44-year-old Pearl River native, was last seen on January 6th while driving through Mid City.

Her mother, Karen Hendrix, now lives in Texas. She spoke with Eyewitness News over Zoom, after her first day back at work since her daughter’s disappearance.

“It’s been very hard,” said Hendrix. She said when her daughter disappeared, she was mourning the recent loss of her father and two nieces, plus had recently fought breast cancer, and was dealing with another possible cancer diagnosis.

“She’s just been through a lot. You know, and I think it really got to her. She made some wrong choices, wrong people to trust,” said Karen Hendrix.

But two of those people Becky Hendrix trusted have now been named persons of interest in her disappearance by New Orleans Police.

NOPD is looking for 43-year-old Michael Hearty and 56-year-old Etienne Defelice. Hendrix says her daughter was living with Hearty in the 2000 block of Iberville Street when she went missing.

Credit: WWLTV
43-year-old Michael Hearty and 56-year-old Etienne Defelice

She says Hearty has arranged times to talk with the police in the past, but has never shown up.

“If Hearty would man up and come in and talk to them like he said he would, it would at least let us know if he is guilty or not. You know, if he’s not guilty he has nothing to hide,” she said.

Hendrix fears there could be a connection between her daughter’s disappearance and the case of Julia Dardar. Dardar was found dismembered in a freezer in New Orleans 13 days after Becky Hendrix went missing.

Dardar’s alleged killer, Benjamin Beale, is a known friend of Michael Hearty. 

Hendrix described the group of friends as “tight”, and said, “Poor Julia. What she could have gone through, that’s just horrifying there. And the thought that Becky could have gone through the same fate somehow is, to me, scarier.”

Becky Hendrix is 5’3’ tall and was 125 pounds at the time of her disappearance. She wears glasses and has a watercolor tattoo on the inside of her right forearm that reads “warrior.”

She was last seen driving a blue-gray Toyota Highlander with Texas plates reading DJD 2581.

Hendrix’s mother is begging anyone with information about her disappearance, or the whereabouts of Hearty and Defelice, to reach out to investigators.

“At this point I just want to bring her home for her kids. Her youngest one is 12 and she thinks her mom’s abandoned her,” Karen Hendrix said tearfully. “And her son’s 23 and I don’t think he knows what to think.”

“Please let someone know. Help us find Becky so we could bring her home one way or the other. She needs to come home to her children.”

You can report information anonymously to Crimestoppers. That number is 504-822-1111.

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