Search for killer intensifies after woman found dead in Las Vegas dumpster

Theresa Henry has identified as the young woman found dead in an apartment dumpster near Maryland and Flamingo. (Photo provided)

Tess Henry was trying to get home. Days before her body was found, burned and abandoned in a dumpster at a Las Vegas apartment complex, her mother mailed her a new ID. She was to use it to get on a plane and go back to the loving arms of her family in Virginia.

She never made it.

Henry was struggling with an addiction to opioids and heroin. Her family sent her from Virginia to Las Vegas for inpatient and outpatient treatment as part of a rehab program. On Mother’s Day, Henry walked out of a rehab center and told her mom she was back on the street.

“She didn’t make it," Patricia Mehrmann told us on the phone. “She didn’t make it home. Many, many people like her die with a needle in their arm. Perhaps a more peaceful death from an overdose but whatever, whoever this person is, whoever took her life as she was trying so desperately to get back home, to be a mother to her son. It’s a tragedy.”

Detectives are working around the clock to find out who’s responsible for her death.

RELATED | UPDATE: Woman found dead in dumpster identified

Kenny Jarels says Henry was a young mother from Virginia. She went missing last year and he helped in the search for her.

“Every single individual that I spoke with said that Tess was not only beautiful on the inside but beautiful on the outside,” said Jarels, with the AWARE Foundation.

On Christmas Eve, Henry’s body was found in a dumpster near Flamingo Road and Maryland Parkway.

“I think most of were just stunned,” said Jarels.

A homeless person was going through the dumpster when he found her body.

“It looks like she was put in a plastic bag, and then there was an accelerant and the bag basically melted on her body and she's unclothed, naked,” explained LVMPD Homicide Lt. Dan McGrath.

RELATED | Body of young woman found partially burned in dumpster near Maryland and Flamingo

Sources say Henry recently had several encounters with police on Fremont Street. Detectives still don’t know how her body ended up in a dumpster 4 miles away from there.

“We're not gonna stop on this investigation. I think we owe it to this young lady that's been heinously killed and put in a dumpster,” said McGrath.

McGrath said his detectives want to know who would do this to Henry and why.

But perhaps no one wants answers more than those who knew her.

“We're definitely hurting over the brutal death of Tess Henry. It just doesn't make any sense why things like this have to happen,” said Jarels.

If you know anything about the crime, call CrimeStoppers at 702-385-5555.

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