North Texas

26 Years Later, Family of Murder Victim Searches for Answers

Melissa Judd's body has never been found

Melissa Judd's funeral was 26 years ago, but her body has never been found.

Now, her family wonders if bones found behind a house in Forest Hill this week may be hers.

"She was real fun-loving. She was a great mother. She smiled all the time," said Judd's cousin, Paige Goodman. "She was a beautiful girl."

Judd, a mother of three, disappeared in 1991 at the age of 22.

Her husband, Bradley Keith Judd, was convicted of murdering her, sentenced to life in prison, and released on parole in 2012.

A friend testified she had just served him with divorce papers.

Bradley Judd admitted the two were arguing.

"I turned and grabbed her by the throat and told her she wouldn't hurt me anymore, and I blacked out," he told police in a transcribed confession. "I'm not for certain, but I think I choked Melissa to death … I feel like after I passed out, I dumped Melissa's body somewhere."

Her family had a funeral. She has a grave. But after all these years, she is still missing.

"It's like this feeling in your stomach that is kind of empty. It's like, where is she?" Goodman said. "I feel a great loss because she was a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful person."

Goodman was watching TV news this week when a story caught her attention.

"I turned it up. It was so quick," Goodman said.

The short story was about a construction worker who had found human bones behind a vacant house in the 6000 block of Evonshire in Forest Hill. The medical examiner said the remains were from a woman but released no other information.

There's no indication the bones are the remains of Melissa Judd.

But Goodman said her cousin disappeared from Everman – right next to Forest Hill.

"It's just another layer of hope, you know, and pain, that we just have to deal with," Goodman said. "I just hope that someday soon, we'll find our answers."

Maybe, she said, Melissa Judd will get a proper burial – 26 years after her funeral.

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