Crime

Boyfriend charged with murder in death of woman found in sinkhole

Johnny Hendrix
Johnny Hendrix

A Somerset man has been jailed on a murder charge in the death of his girlfriend, whose body was found in a sinkhole in Pulaski County.

Johnny Ray Hendrix, 35, of Somerset, was arrested late Wednesday night at a home in Leslie County and was taken to Pulaski County on a murder warrant, the Pulaski sheriff's department said.

He is being held in the Pulaski County jail, charged with murder and fourth-degree assault, according to the jail. Bond is set at $500,000.

Authorities sought Hendrix after finding the body of Monica Wells, 34, earlier Wednesday in a sinkhole in a Pulaski County wooded area.

Police said they suspect that Hendrix assaulted Wells, then hauled her body away on an all-terrain vehicle and disposed of it at the remote spot in eastern Pulaski County.

An investigation began Tuesday after Wells' family reported her missing; she had not met her 8-year-old child after school. According to the family, Wells fought with Hendrix early Tuesday.

Deputies said they feared that Wells had been badly injured or killed, based on the family's statements and evidence found at the house she shared with Hendrix.

Rescue squad members searched for Wells into late Tuesday night before finding her body in the sinkhole Wednesday.

Pulaski County officers are looking for Hendrix's brother, Freddy Pennington, who is wanted as a witness to the assault on Wells.

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