Sunday, January 30, 2011

Amy Henslee: James Henslee speaking about his wife

For the first time since his wife was found dead, James Henslee is speaking about the crime that has left a community in shock.

James Henslee lost his wife, his best friend, the mother of his two sons this week.  Now, he wants everyone to know what a wonderful woman was lost, and to see changes in the way missing persons cases are handled, in hopes that no one else will feel the pain he feels tonight.

A tiny woman with a huge heart - that is how James Henslee wants the world to remember his wife, Amy Henslee. "Oh, man, those big brown eyes and the smile, nobody could resist her, you know?" James said.  "There were times she would go up to the school and everybody would hug her, hug Miss Amy, she just has that affect on people you know? Everybody loves her."

 Amy disappeared Monday morning from their home in Hartford Township.  When James called around 10 a.m. and she didn't answer, he knew something must be wrong.  He came home at 10-30 to find her coat and shoes gone, but her purse and ID were still there.

Missing You Foundation and Mid-Michigan Working Dogs contacted James and offered to search for Amy.  "They're comforting, and they have a lot of confidence in their dogs and it shows.  those dogs are something else," James said. He asked them to look at a cousin's property.

One of the dogs found a pool of blood Thusday, so Deputies and State Police searched the area.  Amy and Tonya Howarth were shot to death, buried together near a camper four miles from the Henslee home.

Telling the boys, Jonah and Jared, that their mother was dead was one of the hardest things James has ever done.   "I just told them that I talked to God, and he said that he needed their mother so she could make a difference in the world, so she could help other people," James said.

James cousin, Junior Lee Beebe, Junior, is charged with killing Amy and Tonya. What would he say to Beebe now?  "Ask him what the hell is wrong with him," James said.

Now, James want's a change in the policy for dealing with Missing persons.  He calls it Amy's Wish. "This 24 to 48 hour waiting period?  If someone knows there is something definitely wrong I believe it should be investigated immediately."

January 28, 2011 05:04 PM

Two bodies were found partially buried Thursday night, both mothers of two.  Amy Sue Henslee, and Tonya Howarth.  Junior "BJ" Beebe has been charged with their murders.

The weapon used was a shotgun, which has been retrieved, said police.

Tonya Howarth, 36, was in a relashionship with James Henslee's cousin, Junior Lee Beebe, 34, who is unemployed. Beebe was arraigned Friday morning with a court-appointed attorney on two counts of open murder and felony firearms charges. He appeared casual and yawned during the proceedings. The judge denied bond.

Judge Robert Hentchel asked "BJ" if he was aware of the charges in Henslee's death, "Did or didn't? No I didn't," Beebe answered.

Junior Beebe's Criminal Record:

  • 06/05/1995 - Misdemeanor,  larceny in a building
  • 11/24/1996 - Misdemeanor, possession of marijuana
  • 7/6/1997 - Weapons charges, possesion & use of self-defense spray device.
  • 8/22/1999 - Misdemeanor, disturbing the peace
  • 8/29/2001- Driving while impaired
  • 4/11/2004 - Driving while impaired
  • 9/15/2005 - Driving violation, malicious destruction of property
Van Buren County Sheriff Lt. Bill Lux told a judge Friday morning that Beebe showed up at his trailer while officers were on the scene. He gave a verbal confession to a female sergeant. That gave police the probable cause to search the trailer, said Lux.

For friends and neighbors of "BJ" Beebe, it's still sinking in.  He's described to be a helpful person to have had around.  Neighbors say Beebe and his two sons lived with his mom in their family home in more at link,0,7836775.story