June 18, 1985, was the last time Harry Miller Maupin was last seen alive.

The 40-year-old Richmond man was last seen 13 miles from his residence in Harlan County near the community of Shields.

Shields is a remote community on KY 38, about 13 miles east of Harlan and about 16 miles from the Virginia state line.

Maupin was a coal company owner who often went on business to the mountains near Harlan, and moved to that county two years before his disappearance.

On Thursday, Earnest Lee Hensley, 59, of Corbin was arrested and charged with Maupin’s murder.

Maupin’s body has never been found.

A news story from 1985 published in the Richmond Register said that Kentucky State Police, the Harlan County rescue squad and sheriff’s office searched Harlan County as well as parts of Tennessee and Virginia.

Maupin and his business partner, Harold Bingham, owned Gayno Goal Co. and Aqua Processing Inc., which produced coal processing equipment.

Maupin lived in Madison County for 38 years before moving to Shields, where the coal mine he owned was based, and visited Madison County at least two days a week up until his disappearance.

He also owned Maupin Grain Co. near Waco for several years before leasing the company about two years before his disappearance.

Trooper First Class Walt Meachum of Kentucky State Police Post 10, located in the city of Harlan, said that a body is not required to prove that someone was murdered.

The case originally was investigated by the late Post 10 Trooper Jack Howard and Detective Denny Pace, whom Meachum said has been retired for many years.

However, the murder case became the responsibility of Post 10 Detective Kevin Cornett, who continued to investigate Maupin’s disappearance.

“Murder cases never close,” Meachum said.

Although he said he could not provide specific information, Meachum said the arrest was possible because of “new information” obtained about the case.

And, although Maupin’s body has not yet been discovered, the new information was enough to point to Hensley, Meachum said.

Hensley has been charged with one count of murder, a Class A felony, and tampering with physical evidence, a Class D felony.

The tampering charge is “probably with regards to (Maupin’s) body,” Meachum said.

Hensley is being held in the Harlan County Detention Center on a $1 million cash bond.

If convicted of both crimes, he could be sentenced to 20 or more years in prison.

The Register article from 1985 said Maupin was wearing a plaid western-type shirt, jeans and new cowboy boots the last time he was seen.

Emily Burton may be reached at eburton@richmondregister.com or at 624-6694. Follow Emily on Twitter at RR_EBurton @twitter.com.

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