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Mother fighting for answers in October 2023 disappearance of Texas man Destin Henderson; “I’m on a mission”

The 39-year-old was last heard from on October 24, 2023, in Harris County, Texas.
Destin Henderson
Destin Henderson

This article has been updated to include information about Destin's car.

“I cried day and night and night and day,” Lawana Shaw told Dateline. “I am so dry -- I can’t even cry anymore. I just want my baby home.”

Lawana’s son, Destin Henderson, has been missing for five months. The 34-year-old was last heard from on October 24, 2023, in Harris County, Texas.

“He didn’t just walk away from his happy life,” Lawana said.

Destin Henderson
Destin HendersonLawana Shaw

Destin is originally from Los Angeles, California. Lawana said her son moved to Ohio, then eventually to Houston for work. “He was a job developer and he loved what he did,” Lawana told Dateline. “He loved going out in the fields and reaching out and helping people.”

Helping people always came naturally for Destin. “He was so bubbly as a child,” Lawana recalled. “[When] he was 3 years old he said, ‘Mom, pick a car’ — times was hard back then. He said, ‘That one, Mom. I’m going to get that car for you.’ There was nothing in the world that he wouldn’t do for me.”

Destin’s older sister, Le Annessa Scipio, agreed. “It wasn’t nothing he wouldn’t do for anyone,” she said. “He was loved by many. Loved by cousins, uncles, aunts, sisters — was a great father, great son.”

Destin shares custody of his 17-year-old daughter. She had just visited her father shortly before his disappearance. “No sooner than she left, something happened,” Lawana Shaw told Dateline.

Lawana still lives in California but said the bond between her and her son has never wavered. She told Dateline the two spoke often, even on the day he disappeared. “On October 24, my son called me,” she said. “We had already spoken for four minutes, and I say, ‘Son, who’s there with you?’”

Destin and his mother, Lawana.
Destin and his mother, Lawana.Lawana Shaw

Destin lived in an apartment in Harris County by himself.

Lawana told Dateline that Destin said he had a friend over. “I said, ‘Well, when that guest leave -- please give me a call back.’”

But Destin never called his mother back. “If we said we were going to call each other back, we called each other back. I never got that call,” she said.

The next day, Lawana tried calling Destin several times. Then, she said, she received a call from the friend who was over at Destin’s house the night before. “[They] said, had I ‘heard from Destin?’ And that he was missing.”

Lawana told Dateline that it was very unusual for her son to just up and disappear. “He had work. He wouldn’t have left,” she said.

According to Lawana, Destin’s friend reported him missing to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Office told Dateline in an email that Destin was reportedly last seen on “Monday, October 23, 2023, at the 400 block of Highland Cross in north Harris County” and that he “may be driving a 2015 Honda Accord, red in color and has Ohio License Plate JHP3637.”

In a follow up email, the Harris County Sheriff's Office told Dateline that Destin's car was "recovered and processed by investigators."

Destin Henderson
Destin HendersonLawana Shaw

The office added that investigators have interviewed Destin’s family, friends, and relationship partners about his disappearance and that the case remains an open and active investigation.

Lawana Shaw told Dateline that their family flew to Houston to do their own investigation into Destin’s case. Lawana said they searched inside Destin’s apartment. “His casual wear, there were none,” Lawana said. “The one comforter I bought him way back in March, it was in the outside storage container, way out of place.”

Destin’s sister, Le Annessa, said they also searched outside his apartment. “We searched around his apartment compound, we searched the complex,” she said. Destin’s phone is also missing, according to family. “And where his phone last pinged — Aldine, Texas — we didn’t find anything.”

Lawana said they also spoke to the management of Destin’s apartment complex who said they saw Destin the night before he disappeared. “She said he came in here smelling good, looking good,” Lawana remembered. “He always was very cheery, very bubbly.”

It’s now been five months since Lawana has spoken to her bubbly son.

Destin Henderson
Destin HendersonLawana Shaw

She stressed that Destin did not leave on his own. She believes something bad has happened to him. “He was my best friend. We talked at least 15 times every day, and his daughter was his pride and joy,” she said. “He wouldn’t want us to hurt or worry.”

Lawana said she’s also been battling cancer, something Destin was helping her through. “There’s no way. He knew that I was going through radiation,” she said. “All he wanted me to do was get better so I could make the trip out there for Thanksgiving.

But Thanksgiving came and went with no sign of Destin.

“I’m going to walk in my son’s shoes every day until I bring him home,” Lawana said. “I’m on a mission. Find my baby.”

Destin is 5’7” and weighs 150 lbs. He was last seen wearing a white shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information on Destin’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Missing Persons Unit, at 713-755-7427 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).