RICHMOND, Va. -- Annie Horne disappeared from her south Richmond home in January 2001. Nearly 22 years later, the Richmond woman is now presumed to be dead.
Now, Richmond investigators say they believe Horne's husband, Thomas Horne, who passed away in 2017, was responsible for her disappearance.
"It's the hardest thing we had to do, just ask the Lord to give us strength because we know she didn't just openly like leave," Mary Ruffin, Horne's sister, said. "She was a loving sister. She was a hard worker. Everybody loved her. She was a people person. And she most definitely loved her family."
Horne was a secretary for an insurance company when she went missing and gained a reputation for never missing work. When she didn't show up to work and her personal belongings like her ID, glasses and credit cards were found at home, people that knew her said they knew something was wrong.
Clarence Key is the Richmond Police detective who has been working on her case.
"We found out that her coat was definitely in the kitchen on the chair at the table. Her glasses, she wore prescription glasses, and you know, the glasses were there on the table. These are the things, essential things that she would need, and you know, during that time of the year, she didn't have it so she wouldn't have left without you know, having those things with her," Key told CBS 6 Crime Insider Jon Burkett and the Reopen the Case Foundation.
After Horne's disappearance, her husband told Richmond Police and several media outlets that "she woke me up gasping for breath, including the night before she disappeared. I gave her mouth-to-mouth, and she went back to sleep".
Thomas and a friend of Annie said that the missing woman had suffered bouts of depression. Earlier that week, Thomas had talked to her about them separating but he would later say "I didn't mean it".
Thomas said his wife got up on the morning of January 13, while he was still asleep. He said he vaguely remembers her moving around and getting dressed.
Billy Queen, a neighbor, has spent years reflecting on Annie's case. He said his mom and Annie spent a lot of time together at their home.
"Oh, she was a lovely person, you know really did a lot for you. I think somebody murdered her. I really do. I point out her husband or ex-husband or husband, I think Thomas, I believe his name," said Queen.
Detectives have also linked Thomas to four other murders and have cleared those cases, putting him into the serial killer category.
Annie's remains have never been found. Richmond detectives Key and George Wade recently met with her immediate family in North Carolina to get DNA swabs in case bones are found in the future.
A search was completed with cadaver dogs at an old apartment complex on Richmond's Southside that has since been knocked down.
If you have information about where Horne's remains may be, call Richmond detective Key at 804-646-5100 or Reopen the Case at 833-RTCFNVA. You can also submit information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't forget the Reopen the Case Foundation has a podcast, available for download on all platforms.
This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email email@example.com to send a tip.