Person of interest in custody in Dora teen's disappearance

Published: Feb. 16, 2016 at 12:12 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2016 at 12:12 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Nicholas Hawkins. (Source: Dora Police)
Nicholas Hawkins. (Source: Dora Police)

DORA, AL (WBRC) - Police have a person in custody in the case of a missing Dora teenager.

A person of interest is being held in the Walker County jail, according to a sergeant.

Nicholas Hawkins, 19, was reported missing last week. His vehicle was found at a Dora home on Sunday, Feb. 14.

Family members told authorities that he said someone was trying to harm him before he disappeared.

Dora Police Chief Jared Hall said he has obtained search warrants for more detailed information from the victim's cell phone, such as calls, texts, GPS coordinates, in hopes of obtaining more clues in the case.

The chief conducted the first round of questioning for the person of interest who is in the Walker County Jail. No charges have been filed against him at this point, so we are not releasing his name or photo.

Chief Hall said on Saturday night, Hawkins called his mom, frantically telling her that the person of interest was trying to kill him.

Based on that information, authorities felt they had enough information to question that person.

They also found Hawkins' car at the home of a mutual friend of Hawkins and the person of interest. Forensic experts are looking through the car to see if there is any DNA evidence inside.

Early this morning, officials in Jefferson County got a call from the Walker County Sheriff's Office asking for their help picking up someone with outstanding felony warrants in their area.

That man was arrested and taken to the Walker County Jail. He is believed to be the person of interest in the Dora case.

The police chief said he is hopeful that they will find Hawkins alive.

"I would like to hope that he's still alive. I think there's still hope and we can pray and we can wish that. It has been several days now but I think there's still a chance, yes," Hall said.

Nicholas Hawkins' uncle Daniel Frederick gave a few more details about the case on Tuesday. He said after Hawkins called his mom on Saturday night, saying someone was trying to kill him, the phone went dead.

Frederick said the family believes Nicholas is somewhere in danger and needs help. They are hoping that help will come before it's too late.

Since Dora is a small town, there have been several rumors going around about where Hawkins may be. Frederick said his family just wants the truth.

"He knew some of the people that knew the other people that might be involved. And through that connection and I think he might have been with one and something went wrong or something, I don't know --I don't know if someone's targeted him...other than being around the wrong people at the wrong time," Frederick said.

Frederick said police searched at least one area on Tuesday thinking they may have had a connection to Hawkins' cell phone in that area, but they said nothing was found.

He said he doesn't know what the motive in Hawkins' disappearance would be, and described his nephew as a good kid.

"He's always tried to do right. He's had a little family problems with his parents but he's got his self together and he's been doing good, been singing in church and doing everything good.  And all of a sudden, this happens and it throws everybody off and we can't figure out why because he's changed and he's been doing good," Frederick said of Hawkins.

Frederick said Hawkins' mother lives in Dora but he was mostly raised by his grandparents who live in Winfield.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Dora Police Department.

Copyright 2016 WBRC. All rights reserved.