Authorities identified Jacqueline “Jackie” Vandagriff, 24, of Frisco, Texas, Monday after finding her body Sept. 14 dismembered and burned at Acorn Woods Park in Grapevine, Texas. They discovered the body after Grapevine firefighters responded to a call that morning.
Police arrested 30-year-old Charles Dean Bryant, who is being charged with Vandagriff’s murder. He is being held on a $1 million bond, according to NBC5.
“She left a beautiful legacy,” friend Mandi Razo told media at a vigil. “She was amazing to everybody she met. And the world is darker now that she’s not in it.”
Police say Vandagriff, 24, left a Denton bar with Bryant around 11 p.m. last week. Her body was found the next morning around 6:30 a.m.
Here is what you need to know about Vandagriff:
1. A Student at Texas Woman’s University, Vandagriff, Already a Licensed Esthetician, Was Studying Nutrition
Vandagriff was a student at Texas Woman’s University, the nation’s largest university primarily for women, based in Denton, Dallas and Houston. Vandagriff was studying nutrition, according to the university.
Her Facebook profile also indicates she became a licensed Esthetician through Paul Mitchell Dallas.
The university’s vice president for student life, Monica Mendez-Grant, released a statement Monday saying Vandagriff’s death 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,” Mendez-Grant said, adding later: “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.”
The university is offering counseling to students.
2. Vandagriff Was a Cocktail Waitress at a Dallas-Based Bar, Sambuca 360
Vandagriff worked as a cocktail waitress at Sambuca 360. The restaurant released a statement, confirming Vandagriff’s employment, but didn’t detail how long Vandagriff had been employed there.
“The entire Sambuca family was saddened to learn of the tragic death of our co-worker, Jackie Vandagriff,” the statement reads. “We have been cooperative with authorities in their investigation, but have no information regarding the circumstances surrounding her death. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, and out of respect for them, we have no further comment.”
The restaurant began as an “eclectic jazz club [with]… an always lively bar, and played host to some of music’s most recognizable celebrities, both on and off stage,” its website claims.
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3. Bryant, Held on a $1 Million Bond, is Named a Suspect & is Being Charged with Capital Murder
The 30-year-old suspect being charged with capital murder and being held on a $1 million bond for Vandagriff’s death is Charles Dean Bryant, who authorities say left a Denton bar with Vandagriff around 11 p.m. the night before her body was found, according to NBC 5.
Authorities say Bryant worked at a gay dance club and bar, the Urban Cowboy Saloon, in Fort Worth. Bryant was the last known person to be seen with Vandagriff.
Bryant has no violent criminal record, according to authorities, but he had been previously arrested for forgery and possession of marijuana:
The Dallas Morning News reports in the last couple weeks, Bryant had been arrested twice. On Sept. 6, he was arrested for trespassing at the University of North Texas. The next day, he was arrested for stalking and a woman filed a protective order against him.
He posted bond for the stalking case and was released from jail four days before meeting up with Vandagriff, according to the Morning News.
Authorities say they are unsure of the duo’s relationship.
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4. There Are Some Question-Raising Tweets from Vandagriff’s Account, Including a Day After Authorities Say She Had Been Killed
Authorities say they are looking into the possibility of someone tweeting from Vandagriff’s account the day after they found her body. In a tweet at 11:22 p.m. on Sept. 15 — the day after Vandagriff was found — a tweet reads “Never knew I could feel like this.”
Police say they are looking into the tweets:
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5. Bryant is Facing Capital Murder & Could Face the Death Penalty
Police are charging Bryant with capital murder, which is punishable by the death penalty in Texas.
“Any time they feel that there’s another felony that was being committed and that she was murdered, that warrants a capital murder charge,” Sgt. Robert Eberling told the media.
Although her body was found burned and partially dismembered, the official cause and manner of death hasn’t been determined, according to the Star-Telegram.