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A thirty-year-old mystery...who killed the Houston Couple on Lover's Lane?

In a case known as the “Lover’s Lane Murders,” 22-year-old Cheryl Henry and 21-year-old Andy Atkinson were found murdered in an undeveloped Houston woodland dubbed “Lover’s Lane” not far from their parked car.

On August 21, 1990, Henry and Atkinson went on a double date with Cheryl’s younger sister Shane and Shane’s escort.

Around 11:00, the two couples parted ways at a club called Bayou Mama’s. When Henry and Atkinson hadn’t turned up by the next morning, their families contacted the police.

On the evening of August 22 (or possibly the 23rd), an abandoned car, Atkinson's white Honda Civic, was found by private security guard on Enclave Round, a secluded road often used as a lover’s lane. There was some fresh blood in the car, which had been turned off with the key left in auxiliary position and the seats reclined.

A woman’s shoes and handbag were on the floorboard. Once the police realized the car belonged to missing person Andy Atkinson, they brought in a scent dog. A search of the nearby area revealed a golf club and three golf balls lined up to point towards Cheryl’s body.

With the dog’s help, Cheryl’s body was located about 200 yards from the car, in the woods, lying facedown under several planks pulled from a rotting cedar fence. Cheryl’s throat had been slashed (one article said there were three cuts), she had been raped, and her clothes had been cut away and discarded nearby.

Cul-de-sac in photo is where car was found

Her hands were tied behind her back. There was a cluster of deflated balloons draped over a nearby tree, but no connection has been made to the crime. There was also a $20 bill on the ground near her body.

The next morning, Andy’s body was found 50-100 yards away from Cheryl, fully clothed, seated with his back to a tree trunk (one source says he was actually tied to the tree) and his hands tied behind his back “with similar rope.” His throat had also been slashed, so deeply he was almost decapitated. He still had his watch and money on him, making robbery an unlikely motive.

Though police identified several suspects, DNA testing against the evidence from Cheryl’s body eliminated them all. In August 2001 a DNA profile from a sexual assault matched the DNA evidence from this case. The victim of the sexual assault provided detectives with a sketch of the possible suspect.

Cheryl had reportedly worked as a topless dancer at a Houston strip club and police theorize she could have been murdered by a patron of the establishment after she rejected his advances.

The Houston Police Department Cold Case Squad is requesting anyone with information about his murder to contact the Cold Case Squad at 713-308-3618 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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