Dismembered body identified as TWU student; suspect in custody

GRAPEVINE -- Police in Grapevine have identified the woman whose body was found dismembered and burned near Grapevine Lake last week and arrested a Haslet man for her murder.

Monday morning the woman was identified as Jacqueline Vandagriff, 24, of Frisco. Police say her body was found in Acorn Woods Park near the lake on Wednesday. Investigators were able to get fingerprints from the body, police said in a Monday press conference.

On Sunday afternoon, police arrested Charles Dean Bryant and charged him with capital murder. Bryant, 30, is being held on $1 million bond.

%INLINE%

Sunday night, the FBI searched his north Fort Worth home for hours. The organization wouldn’t comment on what it took.

“They were bagging up large items, small items, and the FBI van -- they were in and out of that constantly. And they were in hazmat suits,” said Gary Hayes, who lives across the street. He called the whole thing “unsettling.”

Vandagriff lived in Denton and was a junior studying nutrition at Texas Woman's University, the school confirmed. According to Facebook, she studied esthetics at Paul Mitchell and worked at Sambuca 360 at the Shops at Legacy in Plano.

Sgt. Robert Eberling said his department it’s unclear how Vandagriff and Bryant knew each other. He told reporters the two were seen together leaving a Denton bar Tuesday night. He added there was video evidence.

“Right now, as it stands, the information we’re gathering indicates they’d met possibly that night,” Eberling said. “Her body was located approximately 6:30 a.m. the following morning.”

Police say a trail of evidence, including cell phone data from Vandagriff’s phone, led them to Bryant, who they say is being cooperative in the investigation. Police couldn’t say if Vandagriff’s phone had been recovered, but said it had pinged off a cell phone tower near Bryant’s home.

Police said Bryant's previous run-ins with the law include forgery and possession of marijuana, but did not clarify whether or not he had any prior convictions.

In a separate development, University of North Texas officials tell News 8 that Charles Bryant was arrested by its police department.

A spokesperson said on August 24th UNT PD was contacted by a student who told them she was being harassed by Mr. Bryant.

He was given a no-trespass order on September 6 and he violated that no trespass order. On September 7,  the police department got a warrant for an arrest. The spokesperson said he was arrested on the charge of stalking. The student who made the complaint received an Emergency Protective Order. Mr. Bryant was asked to not have any contact with the student. On September 17, the university said he tried to contact her again and two additional warrants were issued:  for violating the order and for harassment. The university says it appears this is unrelated to the Grapevine case.
 

TWU sent this letter to staff and students:

Dear TWU Colleagues:

It is with a very heavy heart that I write to let you know we have lost one of our nutrition students this week, 24-year-old  Jacqueline Vandagriff of Frisco, Texas.  The death of a student affects the entire TWU community, and I know that all of us send our deepest sympathy to Jacqueline's family and friends.  Jacqueline exemplified the spirit of learning and service that is the hallmark of our TWU community.  She lived her life with a desire to serve others through her interest in nutrition.

Grapevine police are continuing to investigate the circumstances around her death, following the discovery of her remains in Acorn Woods Park the morning of September 14th.  I have attached the Sept. 19 Press Release from the Grapevine Police Department.  Grapevine Police will provide further information to the media later today.   If you have any information regarding Jacqueline, please contact the Grapevine Police Department at (817) 410-8127 or TWU police at (940)-898-2911.

A loss of this magnitude reminds us how special and fleeting life can be.  May her loss also remind our community how important it is to reach out to one another to offer strength and  support and to seek help when needed. 

Our Counseling Center is available to support and assist students during this trying time (www.twu.edu/counseling or call (940) 898-3801 in Denton;  (214) 689-6655 in Dallas ; or (713) 794-2059 in Houston.)  All full-time benefits eligible faculty and staff have access to the services of an Employee Assistance Program at no cost to the employee.  One may contact the EAP 24 hours a day at 1-800-343-3822.

Bryant's employer, Urban Cowboy Saloon, posted a statement to its Facebook page saying Bryant had been terminated when he didn't show up for his shift. 

"Monday afternoon we learned why he didn't show," the statement said. The business offered its condolences to Vandagriff's family and said it would cooperate with an investigation.

Police say they’re scouring social media to see how the two were connected, if at all.

“Anyone’s who’s a father, like I am, that has a daughter, this is the nightmare scenario you don’t ever want to face,” Sgt. Eberling said.

A vigil for Vandagriff will be held at Frisco Commons Park at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment