Lynnie Welch went to pick up her husband Theo after he got off duty as a cab driver the night of January 12, 1976. She says she knew something bad had happened to her husband when he didn't show up at the dispatch stand in Gulfport. The dispatcher told her there had been an accident. "And I knew I'd never see him again. I wanted to tell him good bye, kiss him goodbye," Welch says.
Witnesses told police Welch picked up a young black man at the Dog and Burger restaurant in downtown Gulfport around 10:30 that night. A little while later police responded to what they thought was an accident on 33rd Avenue. When they got there, officers found Welch's cab crashed into a fence. Welch was inside, stabbed once in the heart.
Investigator Don Everett says, "Mr. Welch had defensive wounds on his hands and on his arm where he put up a good fight, very good."
After talking to some people, police came up with a sketch of what they thought the suspect looked like. But no one was ever charged with Welch's murder. Welch left behind a one year old son, Theo Junior. Seven weeks after her husband's murder, Lynnie Welch gave birth to their daughter Vicki.
"And it broke my heart to see her because I knew she'd never know his love and it would have been such a wonderful love for her. And it's been a long lonely trail for me too. The pain has never gone away, it never will. Until I'm back together with him, I'll never be happy," says Welch.