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'What happened to Matthew Halley?': Leon County family seeks answers, proper burial

When a body was found this March, his family thought they'd get to say goodbye.
Posted at 12:02 PM, Dec 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-13 13:02:37-05

FLYNN, Texas — Matthew Halley was just 41 years old, living in the small Leon County town of Flynn, Texas, before he went missing.

Then this March, a search revealed human remains in a rural area five miles west of town.

His family still doesn’t know what happened to him, and they’re desperate to lay his body to rest.

"I was hoping to see him after that, but didn’t ever get to," said Brenda Clark Shuman, Halley's mother, as she remembered the last time she saw her son.

"I didn’t get to get that last hug."

Shuman is heartbroken that she never got to say goodbye before Halley disappeared in June of 2021.

Even though a body believed to be Halley has been found, she hasn’t seen her son laid to rest.

To Shuman's best understanding, she says Halley’s body is still with medical examiners, nine months after being found.

Leon County Sheriff Kevin Ellis contacted KRHD after this story originally aired on Monday, and confirmed that the body believed to be Halley is at the University of North Texas, where forensic staff are preparing to extract DNA from the remains.

Ellis noted that a similar case in the past took two years to progress while waiting for autopsy results.

He confirmed that the sheriff's office does not know the manner of death at this time.

Shuman said she hadn’t heard updates from investigators in a while.

“They haven’t even positively identified him yet," she told KRHD.

"No test results have come back, no conclusions of any kind.”

KRHD did speak to Halley’s wife Jamie Halley through Facebook messenger.

She shared she didn’t feel comfortable coming on camera.

However, she did tell KRHD that she feels the Leon County Sheriff’s office has dropped the ball on the investigation and doesn’t give her adequate updates.

She said her family’s life has been on hold as they’ve been waiting to bury their loved one.

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office has never confirmed publicly that those remains found in the search of Halley were that of Halley - as they await autopsy results.

“He was a loving son," Shuman said tearfully.

"He would have done anything for anybody - and I just wish that they would put a value on his life as they would anybody else’s, and take into account that his life mattered.”

Halley’s family members are urging law enforcement to give them answers and show them that they are taking this case seriously.