Investigation continues in 1988 SWAR cold case

Texarkana News

MILLER COUNTY, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – This week, it’s been 31 years since the mysterious murder of Monica Sanders of Fouke, Ark. But, even now, one law enforcement official said interviews are still being conducted regarding the unsolved case.

Sanders, 20, disappeared on August 21, 1988, after a night out dancing with friends in Texarkana, Ark. “She was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She saw something that she shouldn’t have seen I’m sure,” said Monica’s mother, Doris.

Doris said she knew something was wrong when she couldn’t find Monica the next morning. Monica had been planning a birthday party for her little sister and had planned to spend the night with her neighbor. “I went over there to tell her, you know, that she needed to get up and go finish getting everything ready for the birthday party and she wasn’t there,” Doris said.

Monica’s body was found just over a week later. “Ms. Sanders, based on the autopsy report from the state medical examiner’s office, died as a result of gunshot wounds,” said Miller County Chief Deputy Mark Lewis.

Lewis said even now, the department continues to follow leads in the case. “We actually conducted the most recent interview, was last month, associated with this,” he said.

Lewis said there is currently no person of interest, but that wasn’t always the case. After Monica’s murder,one man was tried and acquitted. Another man was arrested, but charges were never pursued.

Still today, the Sanders family gathers information and asks questions.  “I keep digging. I just keep looking. I keep talking to any new name that comes across,” said relative Traci Sanders. Traci has compiled a thick folder full of documents related to the case and said she may one day write a book. 

The Sanders family is holding onto hope of someday getting closure in the murder of their beloved Monica. “Definitely somebody knows exactly what went on and you know, I pray for their souls that they’ll get right with God and they’ll come forth,” said Doris.

If you have any information regarding the murder of Monica Sanders in 1988, please contact the Miller County Sheriff’s Office at (870) 774-3001.

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