“They used to call me every 15 to 20 minutes, telling me where they were and when they would be home,” she said. “It went from Thursday, Friday, they never called. They never showed up.”
On Friday morning, Thomas said she finally got an answer. A homeless man picked up Dixon’s phone and said he found it lying in the middle of North Avenue in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. It soon ran out of battery, Thomas said.
Atlanta police believe Dixon was shot at some point Thursday near the intersection of North Avenue and Parkway Drive. According to a missing persons report filed in Roswell on Friday, her family said Dixon and Henderson picked up Henderson’s daughter from her job at a nearby Taco Bell that night.
The girl told her uncle “that while they were in the car together, Henderson took Dixon’s cellphone and threw it out the car, breaking it, somewhere on North Ave. in Atlanta,” Roswell police said in a report obtained by the AJC. “Henderson’s cellphone was broken as well.”
It was not clear when Dixon was shot, or when she is believed to have died. Her body was not found until 5:49 a.m. Saturday, when deputies in Madison County, Illinois, spotted it lying on a rural stretch of road outside the city of Edwardsville, a college town 20 miles northeast of St. Louis.
A “King Luke” tattoo on her chest helped investigators identify her, according to the Greater St. Louis Major Case Squad. Neither Dixon nor Henderson had any known ties to the area, the investigative group said.
Roswell and Atlanta police both declined to comment further on the case, citing the ongoing investigation.
According to Roswell’s report, police had been called to the couple’s apartment multiple times for domestic disturbances, most recently in January when Dixon was a victim of simple battery. The day they went missing they had been arguing, Dixon’s brother told police.
But Thomas said she never saw the couple out of sorts in the few weeks she shared their home. Neither worked outside of the home, Thomas said, and she would often see Dixon sitting with Henderson as he tinkered on his old pickup truck. They were newlyweds, married Feb. 20, according to Dixon’s Facebook page.
“They be with each other 24/7,” Thomas said. ”They was a happy couple. I don’t know what was going on.”
Since Dixon’s body was found, her three boys, ages 10 to 16, were removed from the apartment and are staying with family. While they are devastated, Talaris Adams said his family has been touched by an outpouring of support from those who knew Dixon or heard her story.
“She was a very caring, loving person,” Adams said of his sister. “She never met a stranger and her smile literally lit up the room. If you weren’t her friend before she first met you, you would be by the end of the night. She just loved people and she didn’t deserve what happened to her, at all.”
The family is collecting money to help with funeral expenses and to care for Dixon’s children. A GoFundMe page had raised nearly $2,000 of its $7,000 goal as of Friday morning.
Anyone with information about Henderson’s whereabouts is asked to contact St. Louis authorities at 618-296-5544. Local tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.