Where is Shawna Hawk’s Mother ‘Dee Sumpter’ Now? – Sylvia Denise Sumpter will never forget the date of February 19, 1993. Shawna Hawk, her daughter, was found dead in their Charlotte, North Carolina apartment on that day. Serial killer Henry Louis Wallace confessed to killing her more than a year later.
‘20/20: Lock the Door Behind You,’ a segment on ABC News, focuses on the horrible case and includes an interview with Dee, who has now founded a non-profit group. So, if you’re interested in learning more, here’s what we know.
Recommended: Where is Serial Killer ‘Henry Louis Wallace’ Today?
Dee Sumpter: Who is She?
Dee was living in an apartment in Charlotte with her 20-year-old daughter, Shawna Hawk, at the time of the event. Shawna was a Taco Bell employee and a paralegal student at a local community college. Dee returned home on February 19, 1993, but Shawna was not there. Her coat and purse, however, were in a closet. Shawna’s boyfriend had not seen her either, so she checked with him.
Dee thought her daughter’s absence of a coat and handbag was unusual. She became concerned and called the police to report her missing. When the boyfriend arrived to console Dee, he went around the house and saw Shawna in the downstairs bathroom bathtub. She was completely submerged in the water.
The young woman was brought to the hospital, but she was pronounced dead there. Shawna was strangled to death, according to an autopsy. The police were eventually led to Henry Wallace, Shawna’s restaurant manager. Henry afterwards admitted to stopping by her house and talking for a time.
Shawna held him as he walked away, and Henry told her he wanted to have sex with her. The two had oral sex in the bedroom before having sex, and Henry told the cops that Shawna was terrified and screaming the entire time.
Henry then asked Shawna to dress and escorted her to the restroom. He choked the 20-year-old and threw her in the bathtub after filling it with water. Henry also admitted to robbing her pocketbook of cash. He even came up to Shawna’s wake later, which enraged Dee. “This is some type of brave monster here, one like no other,” she explained.
He had the audacity to come up at a memorial ceremony for someone he knew he had personally murdered.”
What Happened to Dee Sumpter and Where Is She Now?
Dee was heartbroken at her daughter’s death and thought the cops might have done more during the inquiry. “For some reason, they just couldn’t connect the dots,” she explained. There was no genuine concern. This is where racial disparity enters the picture. “Apparent, obvious links… shamelessly overlooked, in my humble view.”
Dee and two other mothers founded a charity organisation called Mothers of Murdered Offspring after their daughter died. This group is dedicated to assisting the families of victims of homicide.
Mothers of Murdered Offspring launched initiatives that look into violence prevention in addition to aiding families through their grief. Dee is no longer as active in the group, but she continues to support it. “I just wanted mothers to unite and merge our forces and our hearts,” Dee continued.
For nearly three decades, Dee Sumpter has been living without her daughter Shawna Hawk, one of the 11 women Henry Wallace admitted to killing between 1990 and 1994.
Friday, 20/20 speaks to the families of Wallace's victims who remember their loved ones. https://t.co/YPxAD9fP6Q
— 20/20 (@ABC2020) May 12, 2022
Allowing hatred and violence to govern our lives is not an option. Sometimes I have to struggle for my own breath. I’m fighting to be alive right now.” She still resides in Charlotte and works as a receptionist at a local church when she is not spending time with her family.