Missing 25-year-old found dead on side of Bell County road
BELL COUNTY, Texas - The body of 25-year-old Tiera Strand was found on the side of a road in Bell County between Temple and Waco, according to her father.
The Bell County Sheriff's Department later confirmed to FOX 7 Austin that Strand's body had been found.
Deputies responded Thursday morning to a report of a deceased person discovered by a passerby in a ditch near Berger Road just north of Temple. Investigators positively identified the body as Strand.
An autopsy has been ordered and cause and manner of death are unknown pending a determination from the medical examiner, says the sheriff's department.
Strand was last seen at Mooseknuckle Pub on Sixth Street early Sunday morning, April 16. Strand's father says he was told there appears to be foul play in her death.
According to Strand's family, on the night of her disappearance, some girls had started beating her up inside the club before Strand was kicked out, the fight moving outside.
The family says cell phone video recorded by a witness shows the tail end of the fight and that the girls who Tiera went out with didn't help her.
Strand's family then said Tiera angrily stormed off, leaving her cell phone, purse and car keys with her friends.
"It has a been a painful process to get the phone call that said Tiera's missing, and then to not hear from her for days on end, and then to finally get a call that says, we found your granddaughter, but she's deceased," Bruce Herron, Tiera's grandfather, said.
"After day 5 I started feeling like we were never going to find her. Then Friday when they found her, I felt relief and so much anger at the same time," Jessica Williams, Tiera's cousin, said.
"I feel devastated, heartbroken, Tiera meant so much to our family. She was just everything to us. To have her taken away is really painful," Jordaya Dorris, Tiera's aunt, said.
Her family says she has no connection to Bell County. The case is still under investigation and detectives are still waiting for the autopsy results.
"It's hard to put into words just knowing how much pain she was probably in before she passed. It's indescribable," Williams said.
Tiera was a mother to a 6-year-old and had dreams to join the Navy.
"I just pray for her baby girl. We are going to make sure she knows how much her mother loved her. We're not going to stop until we find who did this," Williams said.
"She was full of life. She had a bubbly personality, sassy too, very expressive with the way she wore her hair, her makeup," Dorris said. "She was very confident. She was sure of the things she wanted in life. She had plans. She had a future."
As for her message to whoever is responsible, Dorris says, "you're out there, we are doing everything in our power to make sure you are held accountable, because justice needs to be served."
The Bell County Sheriff’s Department says its CID personnel are conducting a joint investigation along with the Austin Police Department Homicide Unit. Anyone who has any information regarding this case is asked to notify BCSD CID at 254-933-5442 or Austin Police Department Tip line at 512-472-8477.
Although numerous individuals have been questioned, no definitive suspects have been identified at the time of this release, the Bell County Sheriff’s Department said. Investigators are still awaiting final autopsy results from the medical examiner, but the case is being treated as a homicide.