DaNydia Nee-Nee Thompson

DANYDIA 'NEE-NEE' THOMPSONDANYDIA BETTY JACQUELINE ‘NEE-NEE’ THOMPSON, 7, was kidnapped the morning of 04/30/97 from Killeen, Texas. Searchers discovered her remains 05/08/97 near the Lampasas River.1

Gala Thompson recalls her daughter’s hug and quick “I love you Momma,” before she ran into her grandmother’s house the morning she was taken. James Thompson recalls how excited his daughter was about playing with friends, and how well she was doing in school.

She’s interred at Killeen Memorial Park.2 She was survived by sister Danyel and brother Dylane.


Around 7:35am Nee-Nee, her siblings, and two cousins left their grandmother’s house, to make the four-block walk to Marlboro Heights Elementary School. Witnesses observed DaNydia talking to a black male by a gap in the fence that surrounded the school’s playground on Rev. R.A. Abercrombie Drive.3

At about 8:30am an unidentified family neighbor noticed she was “riding piggyback on a man’s shoulders” at the intersection of Jefferies Avenue and US Highway 190 (about 3/10 of a mile away). She did not appear to be in distress.4

Dylane, who was 9 years old at the time, remembers he and his cousins waited for Nee-Nee after school. After awhile, they decided to walk home, thinking she’d already gone to their grandmother’s house. Danyel, a 13-year-old 7th grader at Manor Middle School, felt something was wrong.

person of interestShe and Nee-Nee’s aunt went to the school in hopes of finding her. School officials said she was marked absent; however, Dylane remembers they had breakfast together in the cafeteria. Killeen Police were called.5

A sketch of a possible person of interest was released by Killeen Police; however, they later told media there was no specific suspect. Witnesses say he was in his twenties, around 5’10, 150 pounds, and seemed to know the Nee-Nee. He was wearing a black waist-length jacket, black baggy jeans, and tennis shoes.6


More than 1,000 individuals from public agencies, private organizations, and the community joined efforts to find DaNydia. Texas Rangers, tracking dogs from Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, a helicopter from US Customs, a local radio station’s plane, as well as on-the-ground volunteers from nearby Fort Hood, the Heidi Search Center from San Antonio, as well as volunteers on motorcycles.

Her grandfather, Al Taylor, led the search by horse, and her father flew in from his home in Michigan to join the search.4

On 05/08/97 her remains were discovered along Texas 195, in a ditch about 15 feet from the road. She was in “some type of plastic bag or covering,” obscured by knee-high grass and weeds.7 Cause of death was ruled as homicidal violence by medical examiners for the Southwest Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas.8


Texas Rangers and Killeen Police Department are working to solve the DaNydia Betty Jacqueline ‘Nee-Nee’ Thompson case and bring her killer(s) to justice. If you have information about this crime, please contact detectives at (800) 346-3243 or (817) 634–3111.

Submit corrections/updates here.

  1. Bell County Crime Stoppers: Information Sought on Danydia Thompson Murder – 4/30/1997, accessed 03/04/22. []
  2. Find A Grave: DaNydia Betty Jacqueline Thompson, accessed 03/04/22. []
  3. Austin American-Statesman: Hundreds join hunt for missing girl, front page, 05/05/97. []
  4. Austin American-Statesman: Hundreds join hunt for missing girl, page A10, 05/05/97. [][]
  5. Killeen Daily Herald: Siblings recall the fateful day in 1997 when their sister disappeared, published 08/15/12. []
  6. Big Country Homepage: Police Looking for New Leads in Child Murder Cold Case, published 02/22/17. []
  7. Austin American-Statesman: Searchers find body near Killeen, page A7, published 05/09/97. []
  8. Austin American-Statesman: Authorities identify body as missing girl/Slain child found near Killeen confirmed to be DaNydia Thompson, page B2, published 06/01/97. []

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