Lisa Elizabeth Holman was born November 17, 1981, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she lived with her mother and father and older sister, Jessica. She and Jessica were close in spite of their five-year age difference.
The girls' father was a hard-working man who liked to relax after work with a beer or two or more but never was considered a problem drinker. He wasn't abusive, and his evening beers never interfered with his going to work or functioning normally.
Lisa had secretarial training in high school and then enrolled in an adult education course to improve her computer knowledge. She earned a "certificate of proficiency" that enabled her to get a good office job with decent pay.
She followed the "love of her life," Matthew Grimes, to Oxford in January 2014, when he got a job with the grounds crew at Ole Miss. The stress of moving and the new job seemed to change Matthew, and when he shoved her one evening, she left him.
Lisa met John Reagle through a mutual friend, Janet Ginsborough, who knew that John and his wife had recently separated.
Lisa liked John's warm, engaging personality and sense of humor. They hit it off, and after a few weeks of dating, decided they were compatible enough to live together. Lisa was lonely after the breakup of her long-term relationship with Matthew, so welcomed John's company and moved in with him in April 2014.
After getting a DUI citation in May, Lisa decided to change her life and went to Alcoholics Anonymous. The meeting was an eye-opener for her. Listening to the stories of people whose commitment to the program had dramatically improved their lives, she realized she too could choose a different path.
She now recognized that her "social drinking" was actually a problem and that her father was an alcoholic. Though her father's drinking was seemingly "not an issue," she knew how much it had always worried her mother.
Lisa encouraged John to go to meetings with her, but he wasn't interested. He insisted he had no problem with alcohol, but Lisa could see he was like her father. John began to resent Lisa attending meetings nearly every day.
After several weeks, she accepted that it would be nearly impossible to succeed in AA while living with a problem drinker with no interest in changing, so Lisa decided to move out. It came as no surprise to John, who by then was glad to see her go.
Lisa's sister, Jessica, invited her to move in with her back in Louisiana, where there was a job in Jessica's office that Lisa would be perfect for. Lisa saw it as a sign that her life-changing strategy was beginning to work, so she told John about her plans and left town.
When the rumors were flying that the hand John Reagle was found with might be Lisa's, Janet Ginsborough phoned Lisa in Louisiana. Lisa then called the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department to inform them of her whereabouts.