SAUCIER, MS (WLOX) - A loving son who took care of his mother. That's how the family of Justin Tubbs described him. And that's why they knew something was wrong on April 9, 2007 when he didn't come home.
"He got off of work at approximately 5pm, talked to his mother, asked her to pick up a hamburger for him on her way home, and was never seen from or heard from after," Harrison County Investigator Anthony Piazza said.
Worried, Tubbs' family contacted the sheriff's department. WLOX News talked to Tubbs' sister just days after he was reported missing.
"He called my mother nine times during the day Monday to check on her because he is devoted," Tubbs' sister Sherlyn Tanner said on April 13, 2007. "We haven't had to worry because my brother takes care of her. He takes her to church, he takes her everywhere, he's devoted. He would not have let her worry one second, much less an hour."
Their intuition was right. Five and a half months later, Tubbs' truck and skeletal remains were found by hunters in a wooded area of Saucier off what used to be Highway 67, but is now Bethel Road.
"The body had been there for quite some time and we did not find everything," Piazza said. "But we did recover enough to know what happened to him."
Investigators say Tubbs was shot in the head. Seven years later, no one has been arrested for his murder.
"There's a killer amongst us, living in this community right now that needs to be held accountable," Piazza said.
Piazza is constantly taking another look at the case. With new technology, he has been able to learn more about the victim's last minutes alive.
"I've been able to go back through and forensically analyze his phone and recover some data that they were not able to recover back then, so it is some key evidence," Piazza said.
But there are still a few questions Piazza has yet to answer.
"I truly and honestly believe that after reviewing all the evidence, all the statements and all the interviews, that there's more than one person that knows what happened to Justin. And it's going to be up to that person to take it upon themselves to do the right thing," Piazza said.
The sheriff's department is offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest of Tubbs' killer. If you have any information, you can call the sheriff's department at (228) -896-0678 or you can submit an anonymous tip online at http://www.harrisoncountysheriff.com/department-divisions/operations-division/cold-case-files/