Woman found Angelina Co. ditch had checkered past

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - It's been about 48 hours since a woman's body was discovered in an Angelina County ditch.

Since then, investigators have been building a profile and a timeline to learn what happened to 61-year-old Vanessa Hamdan.

"She hasn't been here very long so just trying to make contact with anybody that had contact with her especially within the last few days," said Capt. Alton Lenderman of the Angelina County Sheriff's Office. "Anybody that might have seen her."

Lenderman said they've learned Hamdan had trouble with drugs in the past.

"She did have an extensive criminal history and it appears that she did associate with some of the criminal element, and so that's some of the things that we're looking at right now as far as the lifestyle she had," Lenderman said.

Hamdan wasn't arrested in Angelina County but has been arrested on charges ranging from criminal trespass to possession of cocaine and misdemeanor theft throughout the state.

"She had lived here and there and actually maybe came down to this area to get a fresh start," Lenderman said.

An autopsy determined Hamdan's cause of death to be blunt force trauma but the manner of death is still under investigation.

Hamdan's body was discovered on the side of Royce Oliver Road Sunday afternoon by passing motorists. Authorities are still continuing to investigate and put the pieces together of how this woman died and how she got there.

"We haven't ruled out anything right now," Lenderman said. "We're looking at everything and we're treating it as a homicide until we know different."

Lenderman said the sheriff's office would appreciate any information the public has about people Hamdan knew, where she went and what she did.

"The big deal is if anybody had seen her in the last 24 hours before her death where she had been and what she had been doing," Lenderman said.

Lenderman said there is no such thing as a bad lead and they will explore all tips to the fullest extent.

If you have any information about the incident you wish to remain anonymous call the Angelina County Sheriff's office at (936) 634-3331. Lufkin Crime Stoppers: 936-639-TIPS. People with any information can also leave tips at the Crime Stoppers Website.

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