An arrest has been made in connection with the death of a 32-year-old woman reported missing in 2000 in Houston County.
Houston County Jail records show Curtis Allen Shoemake, 60, is charged with first-degree murder. Curtis Shoemake is the ex-husband of Dina Shoemake, who was reported missing by her boyfriend in 2000.
Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt said a grand jury indicted Curtis Shoemake on Tuesday and deputies then arrested him on the warrant. The text of the indictment states that Curtis Shoemake "intentionally or knowingly caused the death of an individual, Dina Shoemake, by an unknown manner and means."
Curtis Shoemake posted bail on a $100,000 bond amount and has been released from the Houston County Jail, according to Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Clyde Black. Judge Pam Fletcher with the 349th Judicial District Court set Curtis Shoemake's bond amount.
The sheriff's department said thousands of man hours were spent following any clues.
"This case, my entire career I've heard about it," said Investigator Ryan Martin. "A lot of these guys that work here in Houston County and have worked here in the past and moved on have put a lot of lot time an effort trying to solve this case and I think everybody is really happy today."
Just a mile up the road from Curtis Shoemake's home in Latexo, a neighbor said she only knew a little about Dina's missing person's case, but said Curtis had always been helpful.
"I like Curtis a lot. I think he's great person," said Cheryl Wright, a neighbor. "And there again, it's still a shock but it doesn't change my opinion of Curtis."
Martin said, after all these years, Dina's daughter will have some answers.
"There's a lot of emotion involved for them right now," Martin said. "They're probably in shock, to tell you the truth, that this is actually happening after all these years."
According to a KTRE story from 2011, Dina Shoemake went to Latexo to visit her children. Her then-boyfriend reported her missing after she did not return home. Curtis Shoemake was the last to see her alive.
When investigators arrived, Dina's car was still parked at the home.
"From a law enforcement standpoint, and just a person, that seemed to be an alarm to us that a mother would leave and not check on her children, would not try to inquire about those children at some time or come back to see them," Bobbitt said in the 2011 interview.
Bobbitt said in a phone interview Wednesday that Dina Shoemake's body has not been recovered. He said his office has been re-visiting the case and re-interviewing between 50 and 60 witnesses and kept collecting evidence before taking it to a grand jury.
"I think the guys did a great job and persisted on the case all these years," Bobbitt said.
Bobbitt said Curtis Shoemake has been the main suspect since the disappearance and this was a matter of gathering enough evidence.
Chief Deputy GP Shearer said Kelly Siegler of the TV show Cold Justice assisted in the case. That episode should air in the fall, Shearer said.
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