Police: Body of Abducted Store Clerk Found

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Authorities in Texas say a body found in a remote area has been identified as the clerk whose abduction in a small town store was recorded by security cameras.

Mindy Daffern, 46, had been missing since Friday from the store her family owns in the city of Scotland, 130 miles northwest of Dallas. Surveillance footage last showed her being confronted at gunpoint by an unmasked man who walked her outside the store.

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A man suspected in the videotaped abduction led investigators to the body Saturday. Texas Rangers confirmed it was Daffern, Archer County Sheriff Ed Daniels said Sunday.

Wallace Bowman Jr., 30, of Bowie, was expected to be charged with capital murder in the next few days. Bowman currently faces charges of aggravated robbery and kidnapping. He was being held in the Archer County Jail in lieu of a $3 million bond and did not have an attorney, Daniels said.

Daffern's body was found in a remote area near the town of Sunset in neighboring Montague County. Investigators were awaiting on an autopsy report, Daniels said.

Officials recall Daffern as helpful. When an emergency happened in the area, Daffern and her family would fill up an ice chest with water and other drinks for authorities, Daniels said.

"She was just a down to earth, good person," he said. They're a very close-knit family and of course it's just completely devastated the family."

Video from surveillance cameras show a man casually walking into the store and handing Daffern a cup. She disappears from behind the counter for a moment. When she returns, the man pulls a handgun and points it at her face.

A clip from a different camera shows the gunman walking her out of the store. She initially is carrying the cup, then hands it to the man, who sips from it while holding the gun on her with his other hand. Daffern continues to keep her hands up and appears to plead with the man.

A third clip taken outsides shows the SUV leaving the empty parking lot.

In the video, the gunman shows no apparent concern about appearing on camera, and his face is clearly visible.

"I'm not sure he realized those were cameras, I don't know," Daniels said. "I haven't talked to him, I don't know what he was thinking at that point."

The abduction occurred about 3 p.m. Friday at the small, yellow brick store, which is near the intersection of U.S. 281 and Farm-to-Market Road 172 in rural North Texas. Authorities were alerted by a 911 call.

Bowie police began searching for Bowman after recognizing him on the store video. Officials found a black sports utility vehicle on Saturday parked outside a motel about 40 miles from where Daffern was taken. The SUV matched the description of the late 1990s black Ford Explorer used in the abduction, Daniels said.