Family urges police to revisit hit-and-run death - - Jackson, MS

Family urges police to revisit hit-and-run death

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By Cheryl Lasseter - bio|email|twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Josephine Cameron has been through the toughest year of her life.

"On the 27th, on my birthday, I lost my child. How is a mother to deal with the death of her child on her birthday?" she asks

What's made it even tougher for family members, who still maintain the memorial on the side of Raymond Road near Wisteria Drive, is that the man they believe is responsible walks free.

Early Sunday morning, October 25 2009, 22-year-old Joshua Cameron was walking home, crossing Raymond Road near Wisteria, when he was struck by a car. The family was unaware.

"In the midst of them having not seen him, I knew in my heart something was wrong," Josephine says.

Someone called 911, and as the police report shows, Cameron was found lying in the middle of the road.

Willie Peterson lives across from where the accident happened, at Raymond Road and Wisteria. He said he heard the boom when the accident occurred at 4:00 in the morning.

On October 26, family members knocked on Peterson's door. They had found Joshua's shoe sitting on the curb.

"Asked me, did I know what happened to the dude who owned that shoe? I say yeah, he got hit by a car. They didn't know," Peterson says.

Josephine knows Josh's identification was in a different pair of pants. She also has a strong feeling who did it: a man named Alonzo Barnes.

"He reported his car stolen less than 20 minutes after the accident was called in. In the midst of him reporting his car stolen, the fireman found his car set on fire around the corner from his house," Josephine says.

Firefighters determined that to be arson.

"A car hit him, a bumper was left at the scene," says Teresa Forbes, Josh's sister-in-law. "They charged him for arson, but they didn't charge him for the crime that hit my brother-in-law."

Along with arson, Barnes was also charged with public drunkenness. But to date, police have not charged him in the hit-and-run death. Family members pointed us to the sex offender registry to find Barnes. We found an Alonzo Barnes convicted of rape back in 2001.

Jackson Police tells WLBT News that investigators have not been able to confirm Barnes was the person driving the vehicle that struck Joshua Cameron, but the case is still open.

A year after her son's death, Josephine trembles at the thought of what happened.

"I've heard of cold cases, but this is something that's still to me fresh. It still should be fresh to JPD," she says. 

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