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After body found, family wonder: What happened to Matthew Halley?

Posted at 8:03 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 21:03:25-04

FLYNN, Texas — Matthew Halley, 41, was reported missing out of Leon County in summer of 2021. On Saturday, searchers looking for Halley uncovered human remains five miles west of Flynn, along County Road 977.

Halley spent all his life in the town of Iola, according to his mother Brenda Shuman. About two years ago, Halley moved to Flynn in Leon County with his longtime girlfriend and their two children. Shuman said Halley had worked tirelessly and with dedication in the oil industry for more than 20 years, and she knew he was devastated when laid off during the pandemic.

While Halley was known to take a day or two away from the world to clear his mind, he’d never gone missing like this, Shuman said. Though Shuman and Halley had drifted apart recently, she was able to receive some updates on his life through other family members and learned of her son's disappearance through his sister.

"I wasn't really concerned until [my daughter] told me he had been gone for two weeks, and I knew it was usually just a couple of days maybe that he would be gone," she said. "And when she said two weeks, I knew something was wrong."

Law enforcement, volunteers, and other rescue groups searched hundreds of acres for Halley after he was first reported missing in July of 2021, seen in farmland five miles west of Flynn. According to search party member Chuck Fleeger, president of Amber Alert Network of the Brazos Valley, the search team had to stop their efforts in the fall due to the onset of deer season, when many hunters would be shooting out in the Flynn area. March was also better for searching due to reduced foliage.

"We were kind of hitting close to the starting point again and expanding towards the north," Fleeger said of Saturday's search. "We had covered more towards the south in our second search in July, and we were pushing more towards the north away from the place last seen.”

With horseback riders, helicopters, dogs and all-terrain vehicles, a body was finally found on Saturday. A devastated family now are just hoping for answers as to what happened, and why. His mother urges the public not to spread rumors and speculate on unfounded information, but rather wait till more details are shared through police investigation. At this time, she can't imagine why her firstborn son seemingly met this fate.

"You just don’t understand," Shuman said tearfully. "Matthew was such and outgoing person. He never met a stranger and would give you the shirt of his back. They broke the mold when they made him... He was an amazing son, uncle and father.”

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office have not officially identified the human remains at this time, as the investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this case can reach the Leon County Sheriff's Office can contact (903) 536-2749.