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Volume 8, Issue 2                                    University of Houston

Missing UHD student's body found in park

By Kristen Young
Breaking News

Four follow up members of the EquuSearch team found Friday in George Bush Park the body of a UH-Downtown student who had been missing for nearly a month. About 90 volunteers and friends participated in the EquuSearch effort that began Dec. 24 when Hendrickson's car was found in the West Oaks Mall parking lot.

The volunteer group had called off the official search Thursday for 24-year-old Nate Hendrickson, but decided to revisit areas of the park that might have been overlooked. Volunteers also posted fliers at UH and UHD with Hendrickson's photo, asking anyone with information about his disappearance to call the Spring Valley Police Department.

According to parking tickets from mall security, Hendrickson's car had been abandoned in the mall parking lot since Dec. 1, the day his family reported him missing to the police. Spring Valley Police then entered Hendrickson into a national database of missing people. 

Security guards at West Oaks Mall do not have the ability to run license plates on any national databases and neglected to report the car to police because of the busy holiday season. A tow truck driver reported the car to police the morning of Dec. 24.

"They just let it ride because so much business was going on at the mall," said Spring Valley Police Detective Lt. G.A. Finkelman. "They thought it might have just broken down or belonged to a seasonal employee."

Hendrickson's family last saw him Nov. 30 at his home in Spring Valley where he was working on the family's computer. He left the house without his cell phone or wallet. Finkelman said police do not suspect any foul play.

According to Houston Police Department investigators, evidence found near the body indicates that Hendrickson shot himself once, but no autopsy has been released to confirm the cause of death.

"All the indications are that it was a self-inflicted wound," Finkelman said. 

Hendrickson attended UHD for one year as an undeclared senior. Officials at the registrar's office said that he was not doing well in school. Family members refused to comment about the death and did not provide details about funeral arrangements. 

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