Man seen at Jessica Cain body search site linked to young girls' disappearances

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- William Reece, 56, has been a suspect in several disappearances of young girls. All of them went missing the same year.

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Authorities are looking for a woman's body in a southeast Houston field. Courtney Fischer reports.

Here is a timeline of events, as reported through the years:

April 1997: Laura Smither, 12, vanished while jogging near her Friendswood area home on April 3. Her body was found later that month in Pasadena. Reece was the main suspect in her murder but never charged.

VIDEO: Story from 1998 on William Reece being suspected in the death of Laura Smither
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Story on William Reece, suspected in deaths of Jessica Cain and Laura Smither

May 1997: Sandra Sapaugh, 19, was held at knifepoint and kidnapped. Because she escaped, she was able to identify Reece as her captor. He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault. He was eventually convicted and is now serving time in jail.

July 1997: Tiffany Johnston, 18, went missing in Oklahoma City and was later found dead. The case went cold for nearly 20 years. In 2015, DNA evidence linked Reece to Johnston's murder.

August 1997: Jessica Cain, 17, left a restaurant in La Marque and was never seen or heard from again. The case remains unsolved. In 2012, the FBI reissued a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.

What happened to Cain remains a mystery, but investigators continue their search, hoping the answers lie in the field off East Orem Drive.
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