Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Debra was last seen by her family in Gate City, Virginia on December 23, 1986, as she was visiting for Christmas. She was to return to her home in Ringgold, Georgia, and her family never heard from her again, which is unusual. Her aunt in Virginia contacted authorities several times and a missing persons report was filed. Debbie and her husband were both in the process of building a house and in a custody dispute involving children. Her husband, Howard Hawk Willis, said the last time he saw his wife was when he left her off at a bus station in Chattanooga after she decided to leave him. Howard Hawk Willis has always been a suspect in Debra's case, and authorities believe he killed her and concealed her body. Mr. Willis was given the death penalty in 2010 for the murder of a young Georgia couple in 2002. He is also suspected in the death of his stepfather. Debra has lived in Johnson City, TN; Ringgold, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and is originally from Scott County, Virginia. She has two children. Foul play is suspected.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Bradley County Sheriff's Department