Though 15 years have passed since the disappearance and murder of local mother and business owner Patrice Endres, investigators say that they have not given up on finding the person responsible for her death.
Monday, April 15, marked the 15th anniversary of the disappearance and death of 38-year-old Endres, who went missing from her north Forsyth hair salon, Tamber’s Trim ‘N Tan, on an afternoon in 2004.
Endres’ murder remains an active and important case with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Cleveland Office, said Special Agent Kimberly Williams, and one that they still hope to solve with help from the public.
“We are dedicated to solving this case,” Williams said in a statement to the Forsyth County News. “And we continue to encourage the public to contact us with any information that may help us hold the responsible party accountable.”
But despite investigator’s resolve to solve the cold case, the facts of Endres murder are still as haunting and mysterious as the day she went missing.
Reports state that on April 15, 2004, the front door of the Endres salon was found unlocked and the cash register empty, but there was still money in Endres’ purse and her lunch was in the microwave.
The GBI notes that Endres’ car keys were present at the scene but her vehicle had been moved from its usual location.
In 2010, former Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton told the Forsyth County News that the timeline of Endres’ disappearance had been narrowed to a 12-minute window around noon, in-between customers at her salon.
Reports state that a search of the north Georgia area by local and state authorities continued for some time, while investigators looked into the woman’s past acquaintances, friends and habits and put alerts on her bank accounts, but nothing surfaced.
In December 2005, Endres’ skeletal remains were discovered about 10 miles away from the salon in woods behind Lebanon Baptist Church off Kelly Bridge Road in Dawson County.
Over the years of searching, authorities also reportedly suffered a number of different “crazy leads” that diverted attention the investigation.
One woman, who later recanted her story and was charged with providing false statements, claimed she saw a man and a white van in front of the salon and worked with a sketch artist on a rendering.
“Unfortunately, it caused us to put a lot of work into something that turned out to be a red herring,” Paxton said to the FCN at the time.
Before Endres’ body was discovered in 2005, convicted serial killer Jeremy Brian Jones reportedly claimed credit for the murder — claims that were later discredited by the subsequent discovery of her body some 70 miles from where Jones said he murdered her and the fact that he failed to provide specifics other than what had been reported on the news.
Investigators also focused on Gary Michael Hilton, a vagrant who led authorities to the body of Buford hiker Meredith Emerson in 2008, as a suspect for Endres’ murder.
But like Jones, Hilton reportedly did not pan out as a suspect either.
A GBI webpage dedicated to Endres’ unsolved murder states that although the woman’s body was found, her wedding ring, “two bands soldered together with a marquis diamond center stone,” was never recovered.
“It is the hope of law enforcement that someone may recognize the ring, which may lead them to the person responsible,” the page states.
Williams said that the GBI will be highlighting information concerning Endres’ disappearance via their social media platforms on Monday, April 15 with the hopes that someone will come forward with new information, such as the whereabouts of Endres’ wedding ring.
“Those with information may call the Cleveland Office at (706) 348-4866, the GBI Tipline (800) 597-8477 or report information through the GBI website [gbi.georgia.gov],” Williams said.