Jackson detectives will not give up on a cold case that left a 22-year-old man murdered, and few suspects to question. The file is open. Now it's time to track down a murderer.
The world of unsolved crimes can lead to closets full of file boxes with potential clues and questions, but one box holds the case of a 4-year-old cold murder investigation of a young Jackson man.
A Jeep went up in flames on a cold November night in 2008, and was discovered torched at Van Winkle Elementary in Jackson.
"They murdered [my son] and took him back to the house and took the truck and burned it," grieves the victim's father.
The homicide investigation of Lester Cole, Jr. began as a missing persons case, but two days after that missing persons report was filed, Cole's body was discovered.
Chief Hearn with the Jackson Police Department explains that Cole's body was found in a southwest Jackson home, vacant at the time, the house Cole grew up in. Hearn says he has no doubt that someone knows something about this case, but isn't talking.
"Yes, I'm sure. I'm sure. Looking at this case, I am positive that someone knows who done this," states Hearn.
The Thursday Cole went missing, his father says he was with a female. While his son and the woman were together, Cole received a phone call, a call that seemingly would be his last.
"My son told her he had to go and meet somebody. He didn't say who it was," recalls Cole's father.
Chief Hearn says when Cole's body was discovered, police had little to go off of beyond what they could see at the crime scene: a black male lying on his back with his face and wrists duct taped.
Cole was found lying on the floor. Documents from the office of the Hinds County Coroner state Cole had been beaten and suffocated. But, the most troubling part of the case was that Cole's entire head and neck, even his wrists were bound in multiple layers of duct tape.
"What we are going to do is review the case from the beginning," reveals Hearn.
Although the Jackson Police Department Major Crimes Investigation department was able to reveal some of the details of Cole's murder, authorities refused to release specific details, information, they say, only the killer would know.
Cole's father could not hold back the tears as he revealed new clues in his son's killing. Cole had been in the company of two high school friends that day.
"His first cousin and another high school friend of his," reveals Cole's father of the last people to see the 22-year-old alive. His father is convinced his only son, knew his killers.
"It's hard; it's very hard," admits Cole's father. He says he wants the person responsible for the murder to be brought to justice and "prosecuted to the fullest."
While dust may have gathered on this cold case file over the years, a killer is roaming the streets. Investigators have ramped up their manhunt knowing full well that someone knows something.
"We are in the process of locating some other individuals that we need to talk with," says Hearn.
Hearn says he knows someone will say something, something that is so specific only the killer would know, and investigators will finally put this cold case to rest.
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