Detective searching for clues in 12 year old "cold case" killing - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

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

Posted: Updated:
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.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:00:30 GMT
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die.More >>
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die. Monday night, investigators tracked down Jalen Shaquille Williams, 19, and arrested him at his home. Rashad Rejohn Johnson, 17, was arrested Monday at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Facility, where he was being held on an unrelated charge.More >>
  • Two more Singing River Health System clinics set to close

    Two more Singing River Health System clinics set to close

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:10 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:10:42 GMT
    Singing River Health System has announced the closure of two more primary care clinics as part of a realignment program. The Gautier and D'Iberville facilities will close August 29.
    More >>
    We will rebound. That's Singing River Health System CEO Kevin Holland's response to the announcement that two clinics are closing in South Mississippi. Those facilities are in Gautier and D'Iberville. Holland said it's also unfortunate that several people will lose their jobs because of the closings.More >>
  • Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:54 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:54:09 GMT
    According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later Tuesday night.More >>
    An area of Gulfport still reeling from the brutal murder of a child last week was hit with another violent death Tuesday night. According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.