Lisa Stone, 51, has been missing for more than a month, and those who know her best say they fear the worst
John Wright Online Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Stone’s closest friends say she isn’t one to keep her mouth shut. They describe her as extremely social — almost to a fault.
That’s why Stone’s friends are convinced that if she’s hiding or has left town, she would contact them.
Stone, a 51-year-old gay woman from Dallas, has not been seen in more than a month. Stone’s friends say they suspect foul play and fear the worst. Not only has she not called them, but she also left behind most of her possessions, including her purse.
“Lisa is almost a pest,” said Tina Wiley, who’s known Stone since they attended Mesquite High School together in the mid- 1970s. “We love her, but there were times when she would drive you crazy. If Lisa is somewhere, she would be on the phone telling all of us every single detail. That’s what makes us know there’s something wrong.”
On Thursday, in response to the concerns of Wiley and others, Dallas police executed a search warrant at the home Stone shared with her partner of 15 years, Sherry Henry.
Henry is still living in the home but hasn’t been cooperating with police. Stone’s friends say Henry has been evasive and given them false information about Stone’s whereabouts.
Last week, Henry was observed throwing away some of Stone’s possessions in a Dumpster near their home, including her original birth certificate and the last effects of her deceased gay brother.
Sgt. Warren Mitchell, a spokesman for DPD, said Thursday afternoon that Henry had been taken in for questioning earlier in the day but was not under arrest.
“They [investigators] collected some evidence [at the home], but not enough to determine any foul play,” Warren said. “Detectives did question the roommate but she has not been charged with any crime relating to the disappearance of Ms. Stone.”
Warren added that investigators found 26 cats living in “horrible conditions” in the home. Animal control took custody of the cats, and Warren said Henry may face animal cruelty charges.
Thursday’s search came after Stone’s friends set up a Facebook page, contacted the media, distributed fliers and held a vigil outside her home.
“There’s not a doubt in my mind — and that’s why I’m doing this — that if this were me missing, she’d be camped outside my door, and she’d be beating the bushes, and she’d be kicking ass until she found me,” said Wiley, who’s straight. “She would not give up. If you were her friend, you were her friend for life.”
Wiley said Stone had been “down on her luck” lately.
Stone inherited a large amount of money from her parents several years ago, but had apparently spent most of it, Wiley said.
Stone has a history of depression and anxiety, and had recently asked friends for money for food and medication.
Stone and Henry reportedly owned a company called Politeed.com, which specializes in T-shirts advocating political causes including gay-rights.
Lynde Robinson, who’s also gay, said she’s known Stone since seventh grade.
“It’s kind of a like a whole group of Mesquite people came out together,” Robinson said.
Stone wasn’t extremely active in the LGBT community in Dallas, but attended major events like Pride. Robinson said she and Stone had been very close to Stone’s gay brother, Dennis, who died from AIDS in 1997.
Robinson accused Dallas police of not treating the case as seriously initially because it involved a lesbian couple. But she said she still has hopes that Stone will be found alive. “I’m fearing the worst, I really am, but even more than the worst is never finding out what happened,” Robinson said. “If it’s bad news, I want to make sure her body is laid to rest like it needs to be.”
The Facebook page for Lisa Stone is at http://tinyurl.com/2u3rae6.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 9, 2010.