Part 1: Who killed Kimberly Watts?

Part 1: Who killed Kimberly Watts?
Kimberly Watt's one-year memorial service brought nearly 150 people out in rainy weather Saturday. (Photo source: WLOX News)

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - It's been nearly one year since a Long Beach woman was murdered in her own home, sending shock waves through the community. The family of Kimberly Watts is still searching for answers.

On Nov. 11, 2014, George Bass went to check on his sister-in-law after she didn't show up for work. When he entered her house, his nightmare began.

"I knew immediately that my fears were true," said Bass.

His fear that Kimberly Watts was no longer alive became reality. It's a reality still difficult to accept for the family who describe her as wonderful, compassionate and hard working.

"Someone who didn't deserve to be taken out like she was," said Bass.

Watts was murdered and police haven't released the details of her death. A year later, no one has been charged with the crime.

"You'll see on head stones rest in peace. Well, hers doesn't say that," said Bass. "She can't rest in peace until we have an arrest and conviction."

Now living without his mother, Watts' son is in his second year at Ole Miss, and Maxine Holcomb, her mother, continues grieving.

"This is the most horrible thing a mother could ever go through," said Holcomb. "I would just like to see justice for Kim. I would like to see the person arrested before they hurt someone else."

The Long Beach Police Department has handled the investigation from the start. Chief Wayne McDowell said he does have a person of interest, but not enough evidence to bring charges.

"We need to remember that this is still an unsolved murder, that there's a murderer still in Long Beach," said Bass.

Although police haven't publicly identified the person of interest, Watts' family believes they know who did it.

"We feel like Kim was being stalked, and the reason we feel like Kim was being stalked is because she told us before she was murdered that she was being stalked," said Bass.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has reviewed the case and the evidence collected. As former Long Beach Fire Chief, Bass has his own experience with investigations, and he would like to see more resources committed to finding the killer.

"If we had a fire that we needed extra help from Gulfport or Pass, we made the call," said Bass. "I wish they could get more bodies involved, more detectives. Get some more police work, get in the community, get out there on her street, talk to her friends that she had talked to about being stalked, see if they can give them a description about who this person is."

Bass and his family are doing their part to help create a break in the case. They're offering a $20,000 reward to anyone who can offer a tip leading to an arrest and conviction.

"You have the monetary reward, and you've also got the reward of knowing that you've done something right to have justice brought to Kim," said Bass. "It tears us up, confuses our minds, hurts our hearts to know that there's somebody out there that might have information for us that could help and they won't come forward. We just can't understand why."

Until justice is delivered, the family will continue remembering Watts. They're holding a memorial for her on Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Long Beach Harbor Pavilion starting at 5 p.m. Anyone who wants to show support is invited.

"We're praying for justice is what we're going to do down there," said Bass. "God will bring about justice. There's people out there who can help, and we ask them to help."

Thursday, on WLOX News at 10 p.m., we get an update from Long Beach police on where the investigation stands and what it might take to bring justice for Kimberly Watts' murder.

If you have information about the case, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898 or the Long Beach Police Department at 228-863-7292.

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