Janelle Hofeldt had a gut feeling. She says she first felt it when, during a visit from Minnesota, she met her niece’s boyfriend at a North Texas gas station. Chris Revill seemed friendly when he pulled up in his car. At 32, he was older than Typhenie Johnson, who was in her 20s when they met. He seemed shy but friendly.
"At first, I didn't care for him," Hofeldt says. "Then he started talking."
She didn't like the jailhouse tattoos covering Revill's neck. He did time in prison for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, robbery and assault of a public servant, for which he received a conviction in 2008 in Dallas County. He finished a stint in a Texas prison, for burglary of a habitation with intent to commit assault, shortly before his sister introduced him to Johnson.
They'd been dating for a few months when Hofeldt met him in August 2016. The couple split up shortly after.
"She asked me, 'How do you break up with a guy?' 'Pip, I never broken up with a guy before.'" Hofeldt recalls from a phone call with her niece. Her response: "You just tell them you need to breathe, need time for yourself."
It was the last topic she recalls discussing with Johnson before the young woman went missing Oct. 10, 2016.
Suspicion quickly fell on Revill. He was the last one to see Johnson. They'd been standing in the parking lot of the Euless apartment complex where she lived with her twin brother, Asher. Her brother found her cellphone and one of her socks in a grassy dirt area of the parking lot and told police he'd seen Revill parked there with his trunk open.
Johnson is still missing. Revill sits in the Tarrant County Jail on a charge of aggravated kidnapping with the intent to kill, according to his indictment. He claims he's innocent. He told Johnson's brother that she'd gone with someone to fix her car when he went to the apartment to grab a few of her things.
He told a similar story to police in January 2006 when another ex-girlfriend, Taalibah Islam, went missing. She still hasn't been found.
Typhenie Johnson grew up in Iowa and moved to Texas to start a new life. Hofeldt says she'd been living with her brother for a couple of years before she went missing. She planned to buy a house and a new car. Then she met Revill. Johnson's mother, Deborah Stub, said her daughter was very talkative.
Hofeldt says Johnson's relationship with Revill seemed good when she first arrived for a weeklong visit in August 2016. He worked construction and played a lot of video games, Hofeldt recalls, but she says that by the end of the week, it was apparent something was off.
It was enough to cause concern because. Hofeldt says she asked her niece if Revill could harm her. Johnson reassured Hofeldt that he wouldn’t, but the aunt reached out to Revill in a text message.
"No, I would never hurt her," Hofeldt recalls him replying. "I love her too much."
The search to find Johnson involved volunteers and a team of private investigators who used drones. The Fort Worth police conducted their search for days, Hofeldt says.
When Hofeldt found out her niece was missing, she and her husband, Rick, flew to Dallas and spent 10 days trying to find her. They were frustrated to learn that there is no public emergency alert to send out when a college-aged person goes missing.
"There's an Amber Alert and a Silver Alert, but there is no alert for that age group," Hofeldt says.
Friends, family members, police and volunteers canvassed the area along the Trinity River, Trinity Boulevard and State Highway 360 not from Johnson's apartment. They also searched the Sandy Lane Park area about 14 miles away in East Fort Worth. Revill's parents have a house that backs up to the park. Police discovered a stretched-out bra, a woman's shirt, a broken watch and a man’s tank top in the backyard.
Hofeldt wrote on a GoFundMe page she set up for her niece that Johnson's family has been struggling to find groups and resources to continue searching, but she says loved ones and volunteers still gather on the weekends. The area they’re searching is vast, and the cost to find a missing person rises the longer that person is missing.
"We aren't asking for a hand out," Hofeldt wrote. "We are asking for help during the worst times of our lives."
In nine months, she's raised $370 of the $5,000 the family is seeking.
The last time Johnson's brother saw her, she was standing in the parking lot with Revill. He told police the conversation was another attempt by his sister to tell Revill that the relationship was over.
Revill went into the apartment about 20 minutes later and told Johnson's brother that she had left with someone who offered to fix her car.
Hofeldt says her niece's car had brake problems. A day before she went missing, Johnson called Hofeldt's husband about the issue, but Hofeldt says she can't provide any more information.
Not long after Revill drove away, Johnson's brother went downstairs to the parking lot to find his sister. Instead, he found her sock and cellphone. He called police, who, in turn, called Revill and told him to go back to the apartment complex.
Revill was sweating when returned, police say. He claimed it was from the temperature outside, but police noted in the affidavit that it was cool enough that he shouldn’t have been sweating.
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Revill denied that he had parked where Johnson's brother had seen his car, but police claimed to have discovered tire marks and footprints matching Revell's in the grassy dirt area where Johnson's sock and cellphone were found. Her keys were found in the parking lot.
"Our hope will always be to find Typhenie alive, but we are dealing with the sickening truth that Typhenie was taken from this world too soon," Hofeldt wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Loved ones have been posting updates during the past year on GoFundMe and on the Bring Typhenie Johnson Home Facebook page. The family is offering a $6,000 reward for information that leads to Johnson’s location. Anyone with information can call the tip line at 817-713-2888. (To remain anonymous, dial “67” before the tip-line number.)
Hofeldt plans to return when Revill's trial begins. "When this happens to your family, it's like a bad nightmare," she says.