Investigation Discovery’s “Swamp Murders: Lethal Attraction” recreates the night of June 1989 in Lake County, Florida, when an 18-year-old girl named Tina Hendricks was murdered after being raped and strangled in the area. Before investigators were finally able to identify the perpetrator, they had to follow a long trail of possible suspects and listen to testimonies. You have come to the right place if you want to know more about the incident, the identity of the perpetrator and his current whereabouts. Let’s dive in!
How did Tina Hendricks die?
Tina Beatrice Hendricks was born on November 2, 1970 in Leesburg, Lake County, Florida. Her parents, Lera Jeanette Daniels and Joe Daniels, both died before their daughter was born. After school, Tina would spend time with her siblings and spend a few hours at the donut shop the family owned and operated, known as Oscar’s Donut. The young man, who was 18 years old, was very charitable and free spirited and he was always there to help others who were in need. Tina loved spending time with her close circle of friends whenever the opportunity arose.
On June 28, 1989, she went to a small bar called the Sand Dollar just outside of Leesburg to take part in a karaoke competition. Her goal was to win the first prize of $500 so she could use it to pay her rent and other expenses. According to the episode, Tina’s sister, Tonia Jean Whalen, went to the pub later that night to take her home. However, she came back empty-handed because Tina was having a good time and refusing to come back home with her. She found out the next morning, that was the next day, that Tina hadn’t returned home yet.
Around eight in the morning, a fisherman in Herlong Park, which is about a mile and a half from Tina’s house, tried to get an early catch. Tina’s body was discovered by him in a particularly swampy part of the park, near where the canal entered the park. The Leesburg Police Department was dispatched to the location. Tina was “sexually abused” and then strangled, as the investigation revealed. According to the findings of the autopsy, she had suffocated before her death. Officers discovered her underwear a short distance from the body, and she was taken to the forensic lab to be examined for possible sperm samples.
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Who is responsible for the death of Tina Hendricks?
Tonia, who was questioned by investigators, said she last saw her sister alive the night before at the Sand Dollar bar, where her sister was also scheduled to meet her friend. Unfortunately, the attendant was held up at work and couldn’t show up on time. Tina’s boyfriend Tom Hopwood, with whom she has had some tensions of late, was initially the suspect in the police investigation. Tom willingly provided authorities with a blood sample, which was then tested with the DNA samples obtained at the autopsy.
While awaiting the results, the police went to the pub where Tina had last been seen while she was alive. They interviewed witnesses to identify a person named Mark who had been spotted with her that evening. He was employed at Joe’s tire shop, which was directly across from the pub. Investigators went to the store to speak to Mark Vincent Olvera, who up until then had only been a witness. Despite the fact that Tom’s DNA test came back negative, authorities were given a break when a man came forward with information he volunteered.
The man stated that he saw Tina that night with one of his other friends, “Johnny” Lockerd, who followed Tina out to the parking lot. According to the episode, the man claimed he saw Tina with “Johnny.” When authorities located Johnny, he was more than willing to cooperate with them, telling them that he had seen Tina get into a car the night before. Johnny vividly recalls seeing a man wearing a work shirt identical to what Mark was wearing, although he did not see the driver of the vehicle. Police were investigating Mark, who was 30 at the time and had two prior convictions for drug possession and assault.
When police examined Mark’s vehicle, they found hair samples said to match those of the 18-year-old suspect. In addition, the results of the FBI lab analysis showed beyond a reasonable doubt that the DNA extracted from Tina’s body during the autopsy matched the DNA found in the blood sample taken from Mark. In February 1990, Mark was arrested and charged with murder and sexual assault.
Where can I find Mark Olvera now?
Mark never wavered in his claim that he was innocent, and maintained during his December 1991 trial that he did not molest Tina or choke her. However, the jury did not believe his version of events and eventually found him guilty of first-degree murder and sexual assault. He was sentenced to “life imprisonment with a mandatory twenty-five year sentence for murder and life imprisonment for sexual assault.” His sentence read: “Life imprisonment, with a mandatory twenty-five year sentence if convicted of murder.” Mark continued to appeal his sentence, but his motions were repeatedly denied. According to released documentation, he is currently being held at the Charlotte Correctional Institution, located in Charlotte County, Florida.
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