Tracy Jo Shine

Shine, circa 1987; Michael Neal

  • Missing Since 04/08/1987
  • Missing From Harris County, Texas
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 12/07/1962 (61)
  • Age 24 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'2, unknown weight
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, brown eyes.

Details of Disappearance

Shine was last seen in Harris County, Texas on April 8, 1987. Authorities believe she was murdered by her live-in boyfriend, Michael Durwood Neal, in their house in the 7900 block of Machala in northwest Harris County. He mistakenly believed she'd told the police about his criminal activities.

A photo of Neal is posted with this case summary. He was a drug dealer and a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist gang.

Investigators believe Neal stored Shine's body in a refrigerator for several months and then dissolved it in muriatic acid. By the time they recovered the refrigerator, it was empty and had been cleaned with bleach. Investigators were able to match a single hair and a small amount of human tissue found inside it to Shine's mitochondrial DNA.

Neal was charged with Shine's murder in March 2000. In January 2001, he pleaded guilty and led police to the strip mall near Jones Road and FM 1960 where'd he put Shine's body in a garbage bin.

Neal was already serving a life term for aggravated assault when he pleaded guilty; he was sentenced to life for Shine's murder, to be served concurrently to the other life sentence. He is now deceased.

Shine's mother stated her daughter had a normal childhood and was a talented dancer who was accepted to a prestigious performing arts high school in Houston, Texas. However, in high school she got involved with drugs and eventually dropped out. She moved in with Neal at age eighteen.

Shine's body has never been found and was probably taken to the city landfill. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency

  • Harris County Sheriff's Department

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated December 20, 2017; five pictures and height added, distinguishing characteristics and details of disappearance updated.