At age six, Marie Fore’s father disappeared.
Harry Miller Maupin, 40, vanished June 18, 1985. Maupin was a resident of Madison County for 38 years before his disappearance.
On Thursday, Kentucky State Police in Harlan arrested Earnest Lee Hensley, 59, of Corbin and charged him with Maupin’s murder.
Fore, 32, of Richmond, lived with her sister, father and mother in Waco in 1985. Maupin was “in the coal industry,” Fore said.
She said her father had traveled to the community of Shields in Harlan County for business.
“He had a few different businesses in the coal industry,” she said.
With his business partner, Harold Bingham, Maupin owned Gano Coal Co. and Aqua Processing Inc., which made coal processing equipment. Maupin also owned Maupin Grain Co. in Waco, but sold that company a few years before his disappearance.
Maupin stayed in Harlan County when he traveled for business, but considered Richmond his home, Fore said. He sometimes stayed in an office trailer on mine property. A news story in a 1985 edition of the Richmond Register incorrectly stated that Maupin had moved to Harlan County, Fore said.
Her father loved the outdoors and she said, was outgoing and kind.
And although Fore was young when her father was last seen alive, her memories of him still are vivid.
Her memories aren’t clouded with the innocence of childhood, Fore said, her recollections of Maupin match with those of others.
“He was the type of person who would always go out of his way to help someone else,” Fore said. “He was a genuinely nice person. He was the kind of person who never met a stranger.
“He was just the kind of person who always saw the good in people,” she said.
Fore said that losing her father at age six had an impact on her life.
“It makes you appreciate the time you have with the people you love,” she said.
Maupin’s body has never been recovered. He was declared missing on June 20, 1985.
Fore said her father was declared deceased by the state after several years.
The investigation into Maupin’s death was begun by the late Trooper Jack Howard of Post 10 and Detective Denny Pace, who was been retired for several years. The case became the responsibility of Post 10 Detective Kevin Cornett because murder cases are never closed, said Walt Meachum, Post 10 trooper first class.
“The information we received was that he was shot, which caused injuries that resulted in his death and Hensley removed Maupin’s body from Harlan County and disposed of it in a way to where it could not, and probably will not be recovered,” Cornett said in an interview with the Harlan Daily Enterprise. “We have information that tells us where the body may be, but we can’t give that out just yet, because we’ve got to try and do another search of that area.”
KSP detectives believe Maupin was killed on coal mining property of the Gano Coal Co.
“The information that we have is that the murder took place on the mining property and Maupin’s body was then taken elsewhere,” Cornett told the Enterprise.
Cornett also said that the case is ongoing and as the investigation progresses, there may be co-defendants and possibly future arrests.
Hensley was on parole through the Williamsburg Probation and Parole office, which was where he was arrested, Cornett said.
Fore said she and her family are grateful to the troopers and detectives at Post 10 for continuing an investigation which spanned decades.
“I think my whole family was just really thankful to the state police who continue to work on the case. We’re thankful they have,” Fore said. “There’s just a lot of gratitude to the state police. It’s been 25 years, and for them to keep working on it, we’re really appreciative of their work.”
Fore said she and her family plan on attending court proceedings regarding the case.
Hensley is being held in the Harlan County Detection Center on a $1 million cash bond. He has been charged with one count of murder, a Class A felony, and one count of tampering with physical evidence, a Class D felony.
The Harlan Daily Enterprise contributed to this story.