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Crime News Cold Cases

What Piece Of Evidence 'Holds The Key' To Solve The Disappearance Of Patrice Endres?

Patrice Endres vanished from her salon around lunchtime over a decade ago — where two witnesses may have seen something pivotal to solving the case. 

By Gina Tron
Patrice Endres

While it’s been 16 years since beloved Georgia hairdresser Patrice Endres vanished from her salon, a renewed look at the case brings hope that her disappearance — and death — can be solved.

Endres, 38, vanished around lunchtime on April 15, 2004 from her Cumming, Ga. salon Tamber’s Trim ‘N Tan, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. When investigators arrived, they discovered an uneaten lunch on the counter next to the microwave and an open cash register with missing money. Endres’ car was at the salon, but had been moved from its typical location.

Endres left behind a husband Rob Endres and teenage son, Pistol Black, from a previous relationship. Her skeletal remains were found in December of 2005 behind a church in Dawson County, squashing all hopes of her being found alive.

While there were a few suspects in the case over the years, nobody has ever been charged and the hairdresser’s death remains unsolved.

However “Unsolved Mysteries” is hoping to change that, as Endres’ story is one several that the show took on in its reboot that premiered on Netflix this week

Series co-creator Terry Dunn Meurer told Oxygen.com that the end goal for the show, in the past and today, is to ask the public for assistance so that the cases can be solved. Of the more than 1,300 cases they have covered over the years, they’ve solved more than 260 and counting. 

What would it take for this case to be solved?

As the name of “Unsolved Mysteries” episode on the case  “13 Minutes”  suggests, 13 minutes of the day Endres vanished are incredibly crucial. 

Endres had two appointments with clients that morning at the salon. The second client left the shop at 11:27 a.m. and at 11:35 a.m., a customer called in to change their appointment. The client was able to speak to Endres, but noticed that she was being curt on the call — which was not her typical demeanor. That call was two minutes long, bringing the timeline up to 11:37 a.m.

At 11:50 a.m., another phone call came in but that call went unanswered, prompting investigators to believe that something went wrong in those missing minutes.

“It’s critical that we understand what happened in those 13 minutes between 11:37 and 11:50,” Mitchell Posey, special agent in charge at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said in the series.

Two witnesses driving by did indeed see something during that 13 minute duration. They both told investigators that they spotted Endres’ vehicle in the parking lot of the salon, which again was atypical for Endres. They also both said they spotted a blue car parked right in front of the salon’s door.

Both noticed this sight at around 11:45 a.m.

The first witness believed the blue car was a Chevy Lumina with a Georgia quail wildlife tag on its license plate. The second witness thought the blue car could be a Ford Taurus, or possibly a Ford Malibu. 

Both of these witnesses noted they saw two people in front of the blue car. The first witness believed she saw a woman with dark hair (which fits the description of Endres) and an older woman with shoulder length hair. The second believed he saw a man, also with shoulder length hair, and a woman.

“They had hands on each other,” Tammy Fincher, the first witness, told the producers of the show. “I don’t know if one had tripped, if one was pushing one down, if one was helping one up. It just did not look normal.”

Fincher believed the car is the essential clue in the case.

“The Lumina, for me, holds the key,” she said.

Another possible clue is a missing piece of jewelry. Endres’ wedding ring was never recovered when her remains were found in 2005. Her ring has two bands soldered together with a marquis diamond center stone, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. They noted that they hope someone could take note of the ring, who could lead them to a legitimate suspect.

A number of people have been questioned in connection with Endres' disappearance, but nothing ever panned out. Endres' husband Rob Endres, whom Endres' son Pistol Black suspected was involved, was one such person. Rob did admit to bizarre behavior in "Unsolved Mysteries" — including carrying around his dead wife's skull and sleeping with her ashes like a "teddy bear." He was interviewed by investigators but he has never been officially named a suspect. He denies any involvement, stating that he has no motive.

The show noted that convicted killer Jeremy Bryan Jones falsely confessed to killing Endres and dumping her in a body of water — however Endres' remains were recovered on land. Jones confessed to killing her in 2005, a year after he was sentenced to death for the 2004 murder of Lisa Marie Nichols, who he raped and killed before setting her Alabama home on fire. He was a drifter and suspected serial killer who claimed to have killed 21 women, AL.com reported. He was implicated in the murders of Georiga teen Amanda Greenwell and Louisiana woman Katherine Collins. 

Convicted serial killer Gary Michael Hilton was also once a suspect — liked to target hair salons for robberies. He was referred to as the "National Forest Serial Killer" and was a drifter like Jones. He was sentenced to four life sentences in 2013 for murdering four hikers  — John and Irene Bryant, Cheryl Dunlap and Meredith Emerson — in Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia between 2005 and 2008. 

Both of these potential leads were apparent dead ends.

Posey noted in the show authorities have other pieces of evidence that cannot be publicly disclosed because it is information that would only be known by police and Endres' possible killer.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the GBI tip line at 800-597-8477 or to visit unsolved.com.