Investigation Discovery’s Swamp Murders: Lethal Attraction recreates the June 1989 night in Lake County, Florida when an 18-year-old girl named Tina Hendricks was murdered after being raped and strangled to death in the area. Before investigators could finally identify the culprit, they had to trace a long trail of possible suspects and listen to the testimonies of witnesses. You have come to the right place if you want to know more about the incident, as well as the identity of the attacker and his current whereabouts. Let’s dive!
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 spent time with her siblings and spent a few hours at the donut shop the family owned and operated, known as Oscar’s Donut. The young man, who was 18, was very charitable and free-spirited, and he was always there to help those in need. Tina enjoyed spending time with her close circle of friends whenever she had the chance.
On June 28, 1989, she went to a small pub called Sand Dollar, located just outside of Leesburg, to enter a karaoke contest there. Her goal was to win the top prize of $500 so she could use it to pay rent and other expenses. According to the episode, Tina’s sister, Tonia Jean Whalen, went to the pub later that night in an attempt to drive her home. However, she returned empty-handed as Tina was having a good time and refused to go home with her. She learned that the next morning, that is to say the next day, that Tina had not yet returned home.
At around eight o’clock in the morning, a fisherman from Herlong Park, about a mile and a half from Tina’s house, was trying to make an early catch. Tina’s body was discovered by him in a particularly swampy part of the park, near where the canal enters the park. The Leesburg Police Department was dispatched to the scene. Tina had been “sexually abused” and then strangled, as the inquest discovered. According to the findings of the autopsy, she had succumbed to asphyxiation before her death. Officers discovered his underwear a short distance from the body, and they were taken to the forensic lab to be analyzed for possible semen samples.
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Who is responsible for the death of Tina Hendricks?
Tonia, whom investigators interviewed, reported that the last time she saw her sister alive was the night before, at the Sand Dollar bar, which was also where her sister was supposed to meet her friend. Unfortunately, the companion was held up at work and could not arrive on time. Tina’s boyfriend, Tom Hopwood, with whom she had recently had a run-in, was initially the suspect in the police investigation. Tom voluntarily provided a blood sample to authorities, which were then tested along with the DNA samples obtained during the autopsy.
While awaiting the results, the police went to the pub where Tina had last been seen during her lifetime. They interviewed witnesses in an effort to identify a person named Mark who had been seen with her that evening. He was employed at Joe’s tire business, which was located directly across from the watering hole. The investigators went to the store to speak with Mark Vincent Olvera, who until then had only been a simple witness. Despite Tom’s DNA test coming back negative, authorities got pause when a man came forward with information he voluntarily provided.
The man said he saw Tina that night with one of his other friends, “Johnny” Lockerd, whom he saw following Tina outside to the parking lot. According to the episode, the man claimed to have seen Tina with “Johnny”. When authorities located Johnny, he was more than willing to cooperate with them and revealed to them that he had seen Tina getting into a car the night before. Johnny vividly remembers seeing a man in a work shirt identical to the one Mark was wearing, despite the fact that he hadn’t seen the driver of the vehicle. The investigation into Mark, who was 30 at the time and had previous convictions for drug possession and assault, was led by the police.
When police investigated Mark’s vehicle, they found hair samples believed to match those of the 18-year-old suspect. Additionally, the results of the FBI lab analysis demonstrated 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 as well as sexual assault.
Where can I find Mark Olvera right now?
Mark was never shy about asserting his innocence and maintained throughout his trial in December 1991 that he did not assault Tina or suffocate her. However, the jury did not believe his version of events and ultimately found him guilty of first degree murder as well as sexual assault. He was sentenced to “life imprisonment, with a mandatory sentence of twenty-five years if convicted of murder and a consecutive life sentence if convicted of sexual assault”. His sentence read: “life imprisonment, with a mandatory sentence of twenty-five years if convicted of murder”. Mark continued to appeal his conviction, but his requests were repeatedly denied. According to the documents made public, he is currently being held at the Charlotte Correctional Institution, located in Charlotte County, Florida.
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