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Crime News Snapped

Woman Who Killed Her Own Father and Has a Missing Brother Connected to Another Family Murder Case

“We never would have foreseen how gruesome this case would have ended up,” said Brandon Medina, former Nash Co. Sheriff’s Chief Deputy, on Snapped, after the discovery of a missing woman's body 15 years later led to more questions about a still-missing man.

By Caitlin Schunn

When a mother of four was missing for 15 years, police had just about given up hope of ever finding her. Then, an anonymous tip led them to the bones of Deborah Deans in Nash County, North Carolina in October 2019.

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The bones were found in a shallow grave, wrapped in carpet, just as the anonymous caller described.

The land where the grave was located belonged to Kimberly Hancock — who happened to be the former sister-in-law of the now-dead Deborah Deans. But as law enforcement dug deeper into Hancock, they discovered that not only did she plead guilty to manslaughter for shooting and killing her father when she was 18 years old, but her own brother was also currently a missing person.

“All of this seems to fit a very concerning pattern that Kim has,” said Amy Cutler, former reporter for WCNC, on Snapped, airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen.  First, she kills her dad. Then, she kills Debbie. And now her brother [Roger Wade “Kojak” Ayscue] is missing. I mean, what’s the likelihood all these people go missing? It just seems at some point there might have been some foul play involving Kojak’s disappearance and that Kim, again, might be behind it.”

What was the relationship between Kimberly Hancock and Deborah Deans?

Kimberly Hancock and Deborah Deans first met when Deborah was dating Hancock’s brother, Robbie Deans. Although Robbie and Deborah married, it didn’t last long.

“It was an on-again, off-again relationship, and she was back home with me when my grandson, Robbie, was born,” Elaine Blevins, Deans’ mother, said on Snapped.

By the age of 29, Deborah had four children with four fathers. Her former sister-in-law, Hancock, remained close with her, even after the divorce, and often helped her with the children.

Then, in 2003, Deborah was convicted of fraud and larceny and went to jail for four months for writing bad checks. While she was incarcerated, Hancock helped take care of Deborah’s youngest child, Samantha.

Deborah Deans was released in January 2004 — and was last seen on Jan. 19, 2004.

Kimberly Hancock featured on Snapped Episode 3315

Hancock was questioned at the time about Deborah’s disappearance, since she was the last known person to see her alive. She told police that the last time she saw her, Deborah had come to her home with Samantha, then left the baby with her while she drove off with someone in a car.

As time went on, with no other leads, the missing persons case grew cold — until Debrorah's body was discovered in October 2019. The cause of death was identified as a gunshot to the back of the head.

“Kimberly Hancock, she’s the one to have last seen Debbie Deans alive … you have to imagine that authorities were pretty surprised, shocked, even, that so close to where Debbie was last seen, that that’s where her body had been all of these years,” Cutler said.


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Deborah's mother told law enforcement she’d always suspected Hancock knew more about her daughter’s disappearance than she let on.

“Kim told Elaine, Debbie’s mom, that she had spoken with Debbie several times, and that she’s safe, she’s with friends. She’s out and about on her own,” Cutler said. “And so it sort of appeases Elaine initially, but then as the weeks and months go by, Elaine knows something is wrong."

Kimberly Hancock's Daughter Turns Against Her Mother

It wasn't the first time Kimberly Hancock was suspected of being involved in a murder. Although Hancock had shot and killed her father when she was 18 — and was charged with his murder — she received probation after allegations arose that her father was abusing her.

“Definitely left investigators wondering, you know, this isn’t an innocent mother that they’re dealing with,” Cutler said. “This is somebody who is capable of murder because they’ve done it before. What’s to stop them from doing it again?”

While Hancock’s father’s death seemed like a red flag to police, it was Hancock’s own daughter, Laura, who later provided them with a motive for Deborah’s murder.

Laura shared her mother had received Deborah's social security checks while caring for her child while she was in prison — and kept cashing the checks even after Deborah disappeared. Although Hancock had been arrested for forgery, the case was dismissed because Deborah Deans, the victim, wasn’t there to testify.

Laura claimed her mother told her Deborah's murder was because of the checks.

“Ms. Hancock was still receiving Debbie’s monthly checks, but when [Debbie] got out, [Kimberly] was confronted by Ms. Deans, and an argument ensued,” Brandon Medina, former Nash Co. Sheriff’s Chief Deputy, said on Snapped. “And I think that’s when the idea went into Ms. Hancock to eliminate Ms. Deans.”

When Hancock was interviewed by law enforcement, she denied any involvement in Deborah Deans’ murder. But, she did try to blame her two brothers: Robbie Deans and Roger Wade “Kojak” Ayscue.

Robbie Deans had died of a health problem a few years after his ex-wife, Deborah, went missing, and Kojak was currently missing and hadn’t been seen since July 2009.

“Kojak just vanished five years after Debbie’s disappearance, so you have to wonder if there’s some kind of connection there,” Cutler said. “One of [Hancock’s] brothers is dead, and the other is missing, so there’s no way for police to validate any of that information.”

Hancock, despite denying involvement in Deborah's murder, was arrested.

Another Witness Comes Forward Against Kimberly Hancock in Deborah Deans Murder Case

Law enforcement’s case against Kimberly Hancock grew stronger when another witness came forward: the girlfriend of Hancock’s son, David. She told deputies that David had confided in her about a dream he had when he was 7 or 8. He’d seen his Aunt Debbie tied up in a building behind his house. As an adult, he no longer believed it was just a dream, as his mother told him.

His mother had also threatened him for talking to a teacher about the dream.

“Ms. Hancock turned to him and said, ‘You know, you keep talking about this, you’re going to end with your aunt, in the backyard, buried,’” Medina said.

Although Kimberly Hancock never confessed to Deborah Deans' murder, law enforcement say they are confident they know what happened.

“I believe Kim snapped when she was confronted by Ms. Deans about the money,” Medina said. “And they started arguing, and one thing led to another.”

Katheryn Zughbi, who runs Fighting Crime, the group that helped tip police off to the location of Deborah’s body, believes that not only did Hancock kill Deborah, but that she had help moving the body.

“Rumors have been speculating that maybe Kojak had helped her,” Zughbi said on Snapped. “Over the years, between 2004 and 2009, he was possibly threatening her, and telling her, ‘I’m going to tell that you killed Debbie.’ And rumor is that she may have done something to Kojak to keep him quiet."

Then, deputies got a letter from a Nash County jail informant, three years after Hancock’s arrest, in August 2022.

“She made the comment that the only person who could hurt her was assumed dead,” Jeff Sherrod, Nash Co. Sheriff’s Captain, speculated on Snapped. “That would be Kojak … she made the comment that she didn’t have to worry about Kojak because Kojak may have been taken to the hog shed and the hogs ate him.”

Hancock eventually took an Alford plea, which means she didn’t officially admit to the charges, but also didn’t contest the charges. She was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison.

Hancock is scheduled to be released from prison in 2028. Her brother, Roger Wade “Kojak” Ayscue, is still missing.

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