Home » Debra Mackey, 20: Last Seen At NYE Party With Her Family In 1982
It was in 2016 when this case was officially reopened by the Lubbock Police Department in Texas. It was suggested by Lt. Ray Mendoza that investigators weren’t sure if Debra Mackey simply walked away from her life and changed her name, but with over three decades passed since she went missing, authorities concluded that they believe she “met with foul play.”
The early morning hours of January 1, 1982, would be the last time anyone would see Debra Mackey. The 20-year-old was visiting her family at her mother’s home to ring in the new year, but it was around 2:00 a.m. when Debra was spotted getting into a brown vehicle with an unidentified person. Years ago, Debra’s cousin, Mary McDade sat down with reporters as she relived those last moments.
“That’s a part of my life that will never go away, until we find out whatever, ever happened to her,” said Mary at the time. “Never saw her again, never knew what happened to her… We remember, she came and she had on a brown coat. She came in and something crazy happened. She left and we never saw her again. It’s killing us, each and every day a little bit by little bit, it’s taking some parts of us.”
“Still hold onto that same little memory,” Mary added. “There’s no way in the world that she would’ve left and never came back.”
Debra Mackey was described as a fun-loving young woman who was close with her family. Mary said she was a “happy-go-lucky person” and begged the public to come forward with any bit of information to help the family learn what may have happened to her cousin.
“Somebody knows something to help us out and that’s all we want, is some closure,” she said. “That’s a part of a book, in our life, we would just like to close. We can’t close it, because we don’t know what happened to her.” While crying, she pleaded, “Anybody, please help us. Let us know if y’all know anything about her. Please let us know.”
“These cases get cold but they don’t get forgotten,” said Lubbock Police Department Lt. Ray Mendoza. “The first thing those officers tried to do was find that case and find out what had happened with it. That was a chore in itself because in 1982 that was just a written, handwritten report. So, detectives had to go find that report and go to work on it.”
Debra’s sister Angela Terrell disputes ideas that the young mother walked away from her life of her own accord.
“We loved my sister, she was a people person, she got along with everybody, everybody got along with her. I didn’t even know of one enemy that she had,” Angela stated. “We have our suspicions about what happened to her. She didn’t just jump up and leave, because she loved us and her only child.”
Angela revealed that Debra lived a “wild” life that began when she was very young. She reportedly got pregnant at 11-years-old and “it seemed like her life was going downhill real fast. She was living a kind of fast life.” Even if the news turns out to be the worst, Angela said, “All we want is closure and proper burial for my sister.”
At the time of her disappearance, Debra Mackey stood 5 feet tall and weighed 110 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair and brown eyes. Debra was last seen wearing green pants, a plaid shirt, a checkered brown plaid coat with hood, brown shoes, and a red and white bandana around her head. She also used the last name “Terrell” and her middle name is “Denise.” Debra would be 60-years-old at the time of this publication.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Lubbock Police Department at (806) 775-2816 or the Crime Line at 741-1000, or their local authorities. The agency case number is 11-31579.
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