Details of Disappearance Grimes was last seen Ken's Wrecking Yard on U. S. Highway 59 north in Nacogdoches, Texas on January 18, 1999. He has never been heard from again. At the time of his disappearance, he was working as an informant for the East Texas Drug Task Force. Authorities investigated the possibility that he met with foul play as a result, but discounted this theory.
In March 2006, Rodney Wayne Cearley was charged with murder in Grimes's case. He is the last person known to have been with Grimes before his disappearance, and Ken's Wrecking Yard is owned by his parents.
A photograph of Cearley is posted with this case summary. At his December 2007 trial, he admitted to killing Grimes, but said it was in self-defense. He said he stabbed Grimes to death and buried his body in a wooded area, and did not tell the police what happened because he thought no one would believe his story.
Grimes's ex-wife testified for Cearley, saying her former husband had violent temper when he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and had physically abused her on several occasions. Three witnesses, however, testified that Cearley had confessed Grimes's murder to them.
Cearley was convicted of murdering Grimes, although his body was never located. He could have faced anything from probation to life in prison for the murder. He was sentenced to 20 years. After his conviction, Grimes's family pleaded with him to reveal the location of the body.
Foul play is suspected in Grimes's disappearance due to the circumstances involved.
- Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office
Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated January 2, 2008; date of disappearance corrected, details of disappearance updated.