Body found at T&P Lake in Baird identified as missing Abilene mother

Officials with multiple law enforcement agencies search T&P Lake for evidence after a woman's body was found Friday.

By Andrew McMillan, Natalie Martinez & Doug Myers/KTXS News

BAIRD, Texas -- The body found at T&P Lake in Baird around noon Friday has been positively identified as missing Abilene mother Meagan Dearman.

A friend of the Dearman family told KTXS the family confirmed that Meagan's body was found at T&P Lake.

While Abilene police have actively been searching for the 31-year-old Dearman, a resident nearby reportedly discovered her body at the lake.

Texas Rangers, along with the Abilene Police Department, Baird Police Department, and Callahan County Sheriff's Office, were seen investigating near the lake.

Dearman's family told KTXS the reason they reported Dearman missing was because a family friend told them her boyfriend Justin Bennett killed her and buried her somewhere.


On Thursday, Dearman's boyfriend -- 32-year-old Justin Bennett -- was arrested on an outstanding warrant for assault, forgery and a parole violation.

It was the same day that Dearman was publicly reported missing. Dearman was reportedly last seen on Jan. 17.

Police said that arrest was unrelated to Dearman's investigation, but that Bennett is a "person of interest" in Dearman's disappearance.

As of 6:30 p.m. Friday, Bennett hadn't been charged in connection with Dearman's death.


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A woman's body was found at T&P Lake in Baird around noon Friday.

Texas Rangers, Abilene police, the Callahan County Sheriff's Office and Callahan County District Attorney Shane Deel have been at the scene. APD investigators arrived around 1 p.m.

Abilene police have been searching for missing Abilene mother Meagan Dearman, but authorities haven't disclosed the identity of the woman found at the lake.

Members of Dearman's family were at the lake.

Abilene police Sgt. Will Ford talked to Dearman family members and told KTXS he wouldn't confirm it was the 31-year-old mother until he was "100 percent sure."

Rick Tomlin with APD said a medical examiner is expected to positively identify the body on Saturday.

The missing woman's family members were seen crying after speaking with Ford.

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