BALD KNOB, Ark. — The year of 1995 is one people in Bald Knob don't forget after two high school teens vanish, and 26 years later one of their cases has gone cold.
One of them was Robin Farnsworth, a 15-year-old mom. She left home in January and never returned.
“Kenyatta Haynes, she was also a teen in Bald Knob who went missing in 1995 very closely around the time Robin went missing,” said Heather Meadows, White County Sheriff’s Office investigator.
The two girls went to the same school, lived in the same town, yet their lives were much different.
Robin was known as an at-risk teen who had ran away from home once before.
Kenyatta was a high school cheerleader and very popular, so her disappearance left the community shocked.
“Robin’s case started as a runaway juvenile case,” said Meadows.
That shifted much of the focus to Kenyatta’s disappearance.
And the investigation didn’t take long from there. Kenyatta was soon found beaten, bound, and murdered. But Robin was still nowhere to be found.
And during that time, 17-year-old Derrick Grubbs and 18-year-old Donnie Tempel were convicted of Kenyatta’s murder.
They were both sentenced to life in prison.
“While they were in jail, Donnie Tempel gave a statement,” said Meadows.
It was a shocking statement to a jailer. Tempel gave very detailed information about Robin’s potential homicide.
According to Meadows, Tempel told the jailer that Grubbs took him to see Robin's beaten body, which was allegedly covered with newspaper.
That led detectives to a barn out in the county.
Detectives found a large area with evidence of decomposition in the dirt with a purple fingernail, but no body.
But in 1997, two years after Robin disappeared, a hunter found human remains in that same area.
“The remains were actually thought to be of another girl who had gone missing from another county,” said Meadows.
Unfortunately, those remains were never tested to see if they were Robin. Detective Meadows doesn’t know why.
Years later, the FBI tested them. And in 2004, they confirmed the remains were Robin Farnsworth’s.
“There’s cold-hearted people out here,” said Samantha Ballard. Robin’s daughter.
Samantha was just nine months old at the time of her mother’s disappearance — she’s now 27.
“I have two pictures,” Samantha said. “One of me and her and one of just her.”
She’s got those two lasting memories through photos, but still no answers about her mother’s death.
“It’s unfair that someone is keeping something a secret. I just don’t know how you can put a family through that,” said Samantha.
Detective Meadows said throughout years of investigating, circumstantial evidence shows Kenyatta and Robin’s deaths could be linked together.
Derrick Grubbs and Donnie Tempel are persons of interest in the death of Robin Farnsworth.
Meadows said that's based off a number of witness statements collected over the years.
“Pieces that just fit together still point to Derrick Grubbs and Donnie Tempel,” said Meadows.
However, physical, tangible evidence lacks, and Robin’s case has turned cold.
Samantha described the past 26 years as torture while not knowing who’s responsible for her mother’s death.
“It’s going to take someone who’s holding in all of these secrets, finally getting tired of all of the guilt and coming forward,” said Samantha.
Meadows refuses to give up on Robin’s unsolved homicide.
And though she has little evidence to work with, she has a lot of faith.
“We are grasping at straws, trying to find that last bit of evidence that we need to bring this family justice,” said Meadows.
Detective Meadows believes someone living in Bald Knob knows what happened to Robin.
She pleads if you have any information about Robin’s case, contact the White County Sheriff’s Office.