Details of Disappearance
Arnold disappeared with her boyfriend, Donnie Combs. On September 26, 2018, he called her and asked her to come pick him up in Cass County, Texas, and she left home to do so. A little while later she contacted her mother and said Combs hadn't arrived and she was still waiting at the meeting spot.
Neither of them has ever been heard from again. A few days after they were last seen, Arnold's truck was found abandoned and burned on a county road in Marion County, Texas.
In October 2020, Kevin Dewayne Shepard Jr. and his uncle, Gary Edward Shepard, were charged with capital murder in their cases. Authorities allege Gary solicited or directed Combs's murder due to his status as a potential witness in a felony theft case, and Kevin killed both Combs and Arnold. Photos of the Shepards are posted with this case summary.
At Kevin's trial in 2022, a female witness testified that Kevin took her to a trailer with no running water or electricity, and said they stayed there for about a week and smoked methamphetamine while they were there. During this time period, the witness met Combs and Arnold twice.
During the second meeting, Arnold and the witness were inside the trailer and Combs and Kevin were outside shooting guns near a trash pit fire. Arnold went to lie down in her truck, and the witness went outside and sat in a chair. Kevin then said, "Watch this," and shot Arnold in the head. He then said, "I've got something for you too," and shot Combs.
The witness said Combs got up and ran, chased by Kevin, and she heard more gunshots and what sounded like someone being pistol-whipped. Eventually Kevin came back without Combs, saying "He wouldn't go down."
Kevin left again and came back with a rolled-up carpet; the witness saw a pair of boots hanging out of the end. He threw the carpet, presumably with Combs's body inside it, into the fire pit, then removed Arnold's body from her truck and put it in the pit as well. He then burned the bodies with some tires and trash, made the witness follow him in his car to a county road, and set Arnold's truck alight.
Authorities searched the fire pit the witness indicated and found bones, four of which were confirmed to be human, and three others were consistent with human bones. There was significant thermal damage and it wasn't possible to extract usable DNA from them.
Kevin was convicted of capital murder in June 2022 and sentenced to an automatic term of life in prison without parole. Foul play is suspected in Combs and Arnold's cases due to the circumstances involved.