Buried body identified; ex-beau arrested

The woman, missing since March 2006, was found via a tip.

Published May 25, 2007

SULPHUR SPRINGS - The woman whose body was excavated this week from a back yard apparently was shot in the head, investigators said Thursday.

Police said Nicki Hendriex, 35, was last seen alive in March 2006, but wasn't reported missing until early this month when an aunt informed authorities she had lost track of her.

After being shot, Hendriex was buried 6 feet deep in the back yard of a vacant home at 8217 N 18th St. Police arrested her former boyfriend, 39-year-old Robert Joseph Pollock, 1812 E 99th Ave., in connection with her murder. No one answered the door Thursday and neighbors declined to comment.

Officers said they received a tip Pollock had killed and buried his ex-girlfriend while canvassing the neighborhood in late April. Detectives returned eight days later with shovels, but didn't find the body.

Investigators returned on Wednesday with cadaver dogs and a backhoe and found Hendriex's remains.

Pollock was charged with second-degree murder and booked into the Orient Road Jail. A judge ordered him to remain there on no bond. Records show he has been arrested for marijuana possession and larceny, among other charges.

Hendriex moved around a lot, police said. But she was last known to be living with her aunt, Carolyn Shipman, in Lutz, Hillsborough Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter said. She left Shipman's home on March 6, 2006, telling her aunt she was headed to Fort Lauderdale to visit friends for two weeks, Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

"That was the last time her aunt had seen her alive, " McElroy said.

Shipman, who told authorities her niece was known to use drugs, filed a missing person's report with the sheriff's office on May 2, Carter said.

Hendriex's arrest record includes charges of possession of marijuana and Valium and grand theft. While bouncing around, she lived briefly at the home where her body was found, McElroy said.

The home is for sale and appears to have been vacant for some time.

Times staff writer Justin George contributed to this report.