Family holds vigil for woman whose body was found in the 'Texas Killing Fields' in League City

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Sunday, October 8, 2023
Vigil held for woman found in 'Texas Killing Fields' in League City
Heide Villareal's family arrived at the field along Calder Road in League City to remember the woman who went missing 40 years ago.

LEAGUE CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- Family members of the Texas Killing field victims came together to remember Heide Villareal, who went missing 40 years ago on October 7.

Her body and three other young women were found on Calder Road in the 1980s.

The land where Villareal's body was found belongs to Magnolia Creek Baptist church. The church's pastor said he wanted to bring peace to a place that holds so much evil.

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The land has become a haven for the families who are still holding out hope that justice will be served.

It's been four decades since Heide Villareal's family last saw her alive. She was 25 years old at the time of her death.

Her niece, Nina Jager, will tell you repeatedly that she was loved and forever worth fighting for.

"When my grandfather was alive, he led the search and then my grandma until she passed and my mother," Jager said.

Jager has since passed the torch. She not only organized the vigil, but she continued to work with other victims' families to crack the case wide open.

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"I just felt like 40 years, you know, it is a milestone. It is not one that I would wish on anyone, but it's important for us just to remember her," Jager said.

The bodies of three other women and girls were found in a field off Calder Road.

Their names were Laura Miller, Audrey Cook, and Donna Prudhomme.

Paul Joseph worked on Heidi's case for several years and continues to support her family.

"To see the family go through this over 40 years, it's hard," Joseph, who worked with League City, said.

Jager says there are good and bad days, but these families continue to present a united front.

There are setbacks, but their faith remains.


The Texas Killing Fields. It's a stretch of interstate from Houston down to the Gulf of Mexico dubbed "Highway to Hell" where dozens of women have gone missing and bodies dumped. When no one cares, these women go unreported and the cases go unsolved.

"I felt the love and the support for everybody coming out to honor these ladies, and I feel like we have to be their voice," said Jager.

In 2014, prosecutors presented evidence linking Clyde Hedrick to the murders of Heidi and Laura Miller.

He was already facing charges for the 1984 murder of Elena Rae Beasom. She was found buried off a road in Galveston County.

But the charges in Heidi's case did not stick, something her and Laura Miller's families are upset about.

Laura's father, Tim Miller, founded Texas Equusearch to work on the case independently.

He said he felt confident that Hedrick was his daughter's killer.