Four arrested in connection to woman's disappearance

Posted at 7:11 PM, Jan 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 17:38:12-05

Four people are in police custody in connection with the disappearance of a Rockdale woman. 

According to Rockdale Police, investigators believe the woman was a victim of assault. 

Terri Wilson reported her daughter, Emily Hacker, missing to the Rockdale Police Department on Jan. 20, and her daughter still has not come home.

According to Rockdale Police Chief Thomas Harris, Edward Barry, 29, Candace Jones, 29, John Wayne Stewart, 36, and Ashley Wesson-Zawadzke, 23, were arrested and charged with aggravated assault. Police are still searching for Emily. 

"It's heartbreaking -- it's nerve wrecking not knowing where she's at, not knowing if she's dead or alive," Wilson said. "Not knowing is killing me."

Emily's aunt, Rebecca Vest, said the family found out that Emily had gone missing through word of mouth.

"The father of her children, he went into the store and someone had told him that she was missing," Vest said. "We're scared that there's a possibility that she is no longer here."

The say the whole family, including Emily's two children have suffered since she disappeared.

"I love my baby. I just want her to come home," Wilson said. "They want their mother -- I want my baby...please, somebody."

"Please, anybody, I'm begging you -- just tell me where she's at. I need her, her kids need her, her family needs her," Vest said. "She's loving, she's caring, she would do anything to help anybody no matter the situation."

Harris said they're working with the Texas Rangers to try to find Emily, and that foul play could play a role in her disappearance.

"I wouldn't rule that [foul play] out...we're going to do a thorough investigation on it," Harris said. "The longer an investigation like this goes and you're not able to locate the person -- you get more and more concerned whether there could have been foul play," he added.

The police chief said a part of their investigation has been chasing down rumor shared online and around town. He said those rumors have interfered in the investigation.

"We want to know anything they hear, but often times they get on Facebook and they embellish what they have heard," Harris said. "When it turns out not to be [legitimate] you've wasted all that time that you could've been following a legitimate lead," he added.

Harris said anyone who thinks they have information on Emily's disappearance should contact the Rockdale Police Department, or Milam County Crime Stoppers.

Berry was arrested in Washington County, Stewart was arrested in Burleson County, Jones was arrested in Bell County, and Zawadzke was arrested in Milam County. 

A bond of $100,000 was requested for all suspects. 

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1000 reward is available for anyone who provides information that police can use to find Emily.

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