PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Demond Cook was living in the Delisle community in Pass Christian. He was beginning to turn his life around when at least two bullets rang out, two bullets that struck and killed the young father.
The Harrison County Sheriff's Office is hoping you can help solve this cold case.
Demond, 32, had a fiance and a 2-year-old daughter. He had been working in Gulfport on the night of Feb. 26, 2004.
Sgt. Joe Sturm, an investigator with the Harrison County Sheriff's Office, recently took on this cold case. He said on that fatal night, Demond was en-route to his home in the Delisle community.
"He had left his place of employment, which was a local pharmaceutical company in Gulfport, at approximately 10:15 p.m. and drove home. He was supposed to drive home, get some money to go to the store to buy some diapers for his child," said Sturm.
Sturm says his fiance got concerned when Demond didn't come home.
"Closer to 1 a.m., she hadn't seen him, went outside when she discovered his deceased body outside of the residence, "said Sturm.
She called the police and called Demond's mom and dad, who lived just down the street.
"His girlfriend had called, and by the time my wife and I got there, the cops were up there, and he was lying right there on the ground where he was shot once in the abdomen and once in the head. For what? I don't know," Walter Cook said.
The home where the killing took place has been torn down and replaced by a new brick home.
Twelve years later, Cook remains in shock over the killing of his son.
"It was ridiculous. I mean, I don't know why," said Cook. "I can't understand why they want to do that. How can a person take another person's life, you know?"
Cook says Demond got in trouble during his teenage years and later joined the military. Cook says when his son returned home from his military service, they would sit down and discuss life in general.
"He said, 'Dad, I understand what you're talking about,' and he had straightened up, "said Cook. "He had a girlfriend, and he had a daughter. He was planning on getting married."
What was the motive in killing Demond? Harrison County Sheriff's detectives say he was slated to testify in another shooting.
"Cook was a witness in another murder case that had taken place in 2002," said Sturm.
Sturm says some residents in the Delisle community know what happened but are afraid to come forward.
"They're a tight knit community," Sturm said. "There's a lot of intimidation. I believe sometimes they're afraid to speak out, and that's understandable, but we are always here and always ready to talk if they are willing to provide us with any information."
Sturm discovered what he believes is a crucial piece of evidence that could solve this cold case. That evidence is being tested right now.
"We believe we know who committed the crime, but in order to prove that, we're going to need help from other citizens and hopefully, through this new grant that we received through solving cold cases," Sturm said. "With the advancement of DNA technology, we believe we will actually be able to obtain the information that we need to put closure and give some closure to the family."
"I think about him all the time, and I keep a picture of him in my wallet. When I open my wallet, he's always there," said Cook.
If you have any information that can help identify the killer of Demond, call Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898.