When Dennehy did not call home on Father's Day, June 15, his mother Valorie Brabazon and stepfather Brian Brabazon became worried. Their fears heightened when Dennehy's girlfriend in Albuquerque, N.M., called looking for him, and they began contacting his friends. His disappearance was reported to authorities June 19.
A speech communications major from Santa Clara, California, Dennehy previously played two seasons of basketball at Baylor University of New Mexico, the largest Baptist university in the world, but had been cut from that team after losing his temper at a game. Dennehy told friends at Baylor that he had become a born-again Christian.
Dennehy's 1996 Chevy Tahoe was found last week in a shopping center parking lot at Virginia Beach, Va., missing its license plates. According to Jimmy Barnes, the media relation officer of the Virginia Beach Police Department, the vehicle was probably in the lot for at least three days before the shop owner called to have it towed. Before his disappearance, it is believed that Dennehy had expressed fears to friends and coaches that someone was after him. However, the Baylor coaching staff denied any information of being told of Dennehy’s fear for his own safety.
Dennehy and his roommate, Carlton Dotson, were concerned about threats to their safety, had acquired handguns for protection. Dennehy and Dotson were seen firing guns on a Waco farmland on June 10 according to sources. Authorities took interest on Dotson when an informant from Delaware told the authorities that Dennehy was shot in the head with a handgun by a former teammate after an argument, as recorded in court documents released June 30. The informant also said that Dotson told a cousin about the shooting and that after the shooting Dotson drove home to Hurlock, Maryland, and got disposed the guns on the way.
An owner of the farmland reported seeing Dennehy and Dotson together in Dennehy's car on June 12. Daniel Okopnyi, a friend of Dennehy's, said that on June 14 Dennehy told him "someone is out to get me." He also told newspaper reporters that the alleged threat did not come from Dotson.
The Waco Police Department released on June 27 that according to investigators it is possible that Dennehy was a victim of homicide in Waco. Authorities north of Waco searched over 50 acres of farmland and only shell casings were found. No evidence or indication had lead to a possible homicide and no body had been discovered. As of July 1, the authorities do not have a single suspect to the case.
In an interview on "Good Morning America" July 1, Dennehy's mother expressed hope that their son may be well. "Our son is still alive, and we're keeping a positive attitude about it and keeping our hopes up. And we know God is with him," she said. Authorities also express the same hope. "There's still a glimmer of hope Mr. Dennehy will show up and say, 'Hey, this is where I've been the whole time,'" said Waco police spokesman Steve Anderson.