Around 11:30 a.m. Monday, a deputy was dispatched to a home off rural County Road 2859 in regard to a missing persons report from the family of Siddall, 57. Her family told deputies that they had not been able to locate her and that she was not responding to phone calls. Family members said the last time they had spoken to Siddall was on Sept. 12.
"Great lady ... we came out here to go fishing. All the grandkids, all the kids in the family are her pride and joy," Sheryl's niece, Amanda Turner, said.
When a deputy got to Siddall’s home, which is about 15 miles northeast of Cleveland, he was greeted by Hassler, who gave consent to search the home.
"We never heard of this man until his name was released yesterday ... we don’t know a thing about him," Turner said. "We’re just trying to stay strong and stay positive."
Investigators said that as the deputy entered the kitchen, he saw what was believed to be a blood stain on the plywood floor.
"As the deputy walked into the kitchen area, he observed what appeared to be blood stains on the floor in the kitchen, some on the cabinet and possibly a few on the ceiling," Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Captain David Meyers said.
Suspecting that foul play may be involved, the deputy immediately backed out of the room and called for investigators.
Hassler told investigators he and Siddall were friends and he was buying the home from her. He said that she told him she was leaving to visit her sister in Oklahoma. As it turns out, Siddall doesn't have a sister who lives in Oklahoma. Her daughter does live there, though.
Authorities said all of Siddall’s possessions, including her car and purse, were found inside the home. Her phone last pinged from a cellphone tower near her home.
"Sheryl’s property is all in the house -- her purse, her ID, her vehicle is here," Meyers said.
Behind Siddall’s home, investigators found evidence suggesting that something was dragged into Horseshoe Lake, which borders Siddall’s backyard.
Texas Game Warden Jake Noxon searched the lake with a side sonar mounted on his boat but was unable to find anything.
Investigators said Hassler is a parolee and was arrested on a charge of felon in possession of firearms after several guns were found at the property. He was booked into the Liberty County Jail Monday night and was being held without bond.
In addition to the Liberty County Sheriff's Office, Texas Search and Rescue and game wardens were helping in the search. They said they planned to keep looking until the sun went down on Tuesday.