Family Searches For Answers in 24-Year-Old Gulfport Murder

In a 1975 picture, Acey Welch appears happy posing with his two children. Less than a year later, he was dead. The little boy in the photos is now grown up.

"I'd just like to see justice served," Welch's son said. "I believe justice is an eye for an eye."

Acey Welch's son wanted us to hide his identity, afraid of a killer that is still out there.

He clings to newspaper clippings and a 24-year-old composite sketch of the suspect, hoping they may someday help bring some closure, hoping for an explanation to what happened in January 1976.

The 24-year-old cab driver was at a restaurant in downtown Gulfport when the suspect asked for a ride.

"I guess just the urge for money caused him to give the guy a ride anyway, even though he was off duty and he caught him where he was going to Rolling Meadows subdivision and that was the last we heard from him," Welch's son said.

Just a few minutes later, Acey Welch's Cab crashed into this fence on 33rd Avenue. Police responding to the call thought it was just a car accident. When they arrived, they learned that Welch had been stabbed in the heart.

"Once they got up close to the area of 30th Avenue and Pass Road, the gentlemen probably pulled a knife on him demanding his money and Mr. Welch put up a fight and resisted," said Investigator Don Everett.

Through the years, Everett has reviewed the case and re-interviewed witnesses who saw the suspect at the Gulfport restaurant before the murder. He hopes Welch's family won't give up. This is a case Don Everett wants to solve before he retires.

"It's been a thorn in my side for 24 years," said Everett. "One of these days is going to be solved. We're going to find out who did it."

Acey Welch's son says finding the killer won't make all of the pain go away, but he says it will close a chapter that's haunted his family for far too long.

If you have any information about the case, you're asked to contact the Gulfport Police Department.