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CRIME TRACKERS: Justice for Jimmy

TUCSON – Twenty-eight years ago, Jimmy Hendrickson vanished from a west side home. He was only 12 years old at the time.

His sister, Tammy Tacho, who was a teenager at the time, is determined to find Jimmy and the person responsible for his disappearance.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him,” Tacho said. “It’s turned my life upside down.”

June 12 marked 28 years of Hendrickson’s disappearance, Tacho was full of emotion, as she released 28 yellow balloons into the sky.

Jimmy Hendrickson vanished from a west side home on June 12, 1991.

“Absolutely, in every detective’s career there’s one or two cases that haunt you,” said former Tucson Police Department Detective Reuben Nunez. “And the disappearance of Jimmy Hendrickson has been that haunting case for me.” Nunez is now the Deputy Police Chief in Marana.

Police reports that span from 1991 to 2017 have details that have never been made public until now, including a suspect.

News 4 Tucson is not naming the suspect because he has never been charged with Hendrickson’s disappearance.

“He had a checkered history. He had a history of child molestation, so that brought me some concern because he was with him,” Nunez said.

Detective Nunez says he also spoke to one of the suspect’s friends.

Reportedly, the person of interest met the 12-year-old at a barbeque he attended with his babysitter’s family on June 11, one day before his disappearance.

Nunez asked the babysitter questions about Jimmy. She said the person of interest asked if he could borrow Jimmy to help with some construction work at his house.

The babysitter reluctantly let Jimmy and another young relative go with the suspect.

The next morning, the babysitter went to pick up the boys and Jimmy was gone. The suspect denied having any knowledge of where Jimmy was. He claimed Jimmy had left.

Nunez says he questioned everybody, including the young relative that was with Jimmy and the suspect.

“He told me that two bad men came to the house and they wrapped Jimmy up in a blanket and took him to Mexico, “Nunez said.

The suspect was asked to take a polygraph and he failed it.

Why hasn’t he been arrested?

“There’s a lot more to it than just a gut feeling, you have to have probable cause but the biggest problem with this case is we don’t know where Jimmy is,” Nunez said.

Tacho says she wants the suspect to do the right thing and let them know where her brother is, so she can give her mother closure.

Lupita Murillo

Lupita Murillo

Lupita Murillo is an investigative reporter. She is part of the Digging Deeper team that uncovers important issues focusing on crime that affects the community.
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