Detective searching for clues in 12 year old "cold case" killing - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Detective searching for clues in 12 year old "cold case" killing

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

 A Jackson County family desperately wants some closure in the murder of their loved one.

It happened on Thanksgiving Day in Pascagoula, 12 years ago. That's when 56 year old Horace Jones was found beaten to death inside his home.

Jones was an impressive figure.  At six-foot, nine, he was easily recognizable in the neighborhood.

A police detective and family members say there are definitely people out there who could help solve this murder.

"I remember it perfect.  It was Thanksgiving day, 12 years ago.  I went to his house on Thanksgiving to wish him a happy Thanksgiving," said his daughter, Carla Woodson.

But she never delivered that holiday greeting.  She opened her daddy's front door and walked in on a murder scene.

"I went in. And when I went in, I found a tragedy. He was laying on the floor with his head busted wide open. And I went into a shock. I was scared to move 'cause I didn't know if there was anybody else in the house that would do anything to hurt me," Woodson recalled.

Alma Jones is the victim's granddaughter.  She was just 13 years old on that tragic Thanksgiving.

"I think about my granddaddy all the time. And it's always puzzled me ever since I was a child," she said.

Jones and her family are convinced there are people out there who know what happened.

"I wish they would come forward and go ahead and speak. And, you know, have some sympathy at least for the family, so we can get past this, instead of holding it as a secret for so many years. It's just wrong," said Jones.

"There is hope. There's always hope on these cold cases," said Pascagoula police detective, Darren Versiga.

He is doing all he can to cultivate new leads. Versiga is driven by the challenge of "cold case" files, and has several such challenges hanging in his second floor office.  

He says the family is right: There are people who know exactly what happened.

"When you have this kind of crime, it's in a residential neighborhood. People saw what happened. They saw people coming and going. They know his friends. Sometimes they are just unwilling, or we have not talked to the right people," said the detective.

As time marches on, the cold case grows colder. Memories fade.  Even the landscape changes.

In fact, the residence where Horace Jones was found dead no longer exists.  It was demolished post-Katrina and replaced with a new housing development.

"Every Thanksgiving, they have to think about Horace. And I would like for them to wake up next Thanksgiving and say, we got him, we put him in jail. And they'll have that satisfaction," said the investigator.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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