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Hawkins was last seen on April 3, 1961 in Newport, Kentucky. He resided in Persimmon Grove, Kentucky at the time. He was employed as a law enforcement officer and also ran a small general store. He lived on the upper floor of the store.
On the day of his disappearance, Hawkins fixed his daughter's breakfast and saw her off to work, then said goodbye to his wife and left in his tan two-tone 1959 Plymouth Fury station wagon. At 1:00 p.m. he called home, saying he had stopped by his attorney's office to meet with him about his upcoming Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit. Hawkins did not sound troubled at the time of the conversation, and stated he was on his way home. He never arrived and has never been heard from again.
On April 7, authorities found Hawkins's car in Dayton, Ohio, parked at the edge of a river. It had half a tank of gasoline and the key was still in the ignition. There was muddy water inside the vehicle; it appeared as if the car had been rinsed in muddy water and then wiped with a muddy rag. There was no sign of Hawkins at the scene.
Authorities believe organized crime was involved in Hawkins's disappearance. There is evidence that he was taking bribes from organized crime figures, including people who ran gambling businesses, in his capacity as a peace officer. Allegedly, Hawkins kept increasing his prices and the criminals were tired of paying him, and arranged to have him murdered as a result. No one has been charged in connection with his disappearance, however; it remains unsolved.
Kentucky State Police