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Man Charged in the Presumed Death of Texas Woman Who Disappeared After She Was Witness in Capital Murder Case

 Yoland Washington, a 51-year-old Texas man, has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with the disappearance and presumed death of Deundra Ford, a 22-year-old young mother who went missing in September 2023. Ford was last seen leaving work in Houston, according to police reports.

Deundra Ford, a witness in a capital murder case, had been working as a dancer at Diva's Bikini Sports Bar & Grill in Houston for several weeks prior to her disappearance. On September 22, 2023, Ford left work with an unknown male in a white Ford Transit van, according to the Houston Police Department (HPD) press release.

The investigation, conducted by the HPD Missing Persons Unit and the HPD Homicide Division, identified Yoland Washington as the suspect in this case, linking him to Ford's death. Washington was arrested and charged with murder in connection with her disappearance.

Court documents and video surveillance footage allegedly show Ford getting into the van with Washington. According to statements Washington made to the police, he met Ford inside the club and gave her a ride in his van.

Investigators reportedly discovered Ford's clothing with apparent blood stains inside Washington's van. DNA from both Ford and Washington was found on three of the stains on her clothing. Chemical analysis inside the van also revealed blood stains in the middle and back of the vehicle.

Ford's disappearance may be related to a prior murder case she was involved in. In May, while asleep in the front seat of a car, Ford narrowly escaped a fatal shooting that resulted in the death of Otis Parker. Authorities identified the gunman as Jamal Brown and his accomplices as Mariah Green, Quitiana Taylor, and Jarrell Wheeler. The killing was believed to be a planned robbery over $1,500 that Ford and Taylor had obtained during a previous work trip to Louisiana.

Court documents indicate that during the investigation into the murder case, it was revealed that one of the suspects sent a text message stating, "She ain't safe in all." As a result, a judge granted a no-contact order between Ford and the suspects.

Brown, Taylor, and Green were charged with capital murder in connection with Parker's shooting death, while Brown was later killed by police officers serving an arrest warrant on a capital murder charge. The three remaining suspects are currently in custody and awaiting trial.

Yoland Washington is held at the Dallas County Jail on an unrelated charge, and his extradition to Harris County is pending. It is unclear whether he has retained legal representation.

Deundra Ford is described as a Black woman, approximately 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing about 170 lbs, with brown eyes and black hair. The investigation into her disappearance and presumed death continues, raising questions about the safety of witnesses and the impact it can have on the pursuit of justice.


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