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Family and Friends Remember Murdered Teens 14 Years Later

By: Sarah Cantey Email
By: Sarah Cantey Email

Today, JB Beasley would be celebrating her 31st birthday, but, 14 years ago, JB and her friend Tracie Hawlett never made it to the birthday celebrations.

Investigators are still following leads to bring their killer to justice.

Every year around this time of year, Patricia Riley Jones, a retired VOCAL volunteer, tries to add beauty to a place that was once a crime scene.

"I just try to look for something special for the two of them. Because I don't want these two girls to ever be forgotten," explained Jones.

The two 17-year-olds were murdered in JB’s car on Herring Avenue. The unimaginable tragedy for many, hits close to home for Jones.

"I've lost my mother, I know what it means to lose a mother through murder,” said Jones. “We want closure we want it solved."

In the beginning stages of the investigation, hundreds of investigators at local, state and Federal agencies worked around the clock searching for that closure.

Now, only a few go through the hundreds of case files, trying to follow leads that so far, have led to dead ends.

"We are currently of course are following up on some leads. We meet regularly to discuss the case," said Cpt. Marlos Walker, Task Force Commander.

Chief Tony Spivey of the Ozark Police Department says, “we have investigated new information and leads that's been in the state of Alabama and we've investigated some leads that have taken us out of the state of Alabama."

Police say the key to cracking this case is DNA. They are trying to match crime scene evidence using databases across the country.

"This case is very solvable,” explains Spivey. It is just going to take the right stroke of information to make all the pieces of the puzzle come together. And that is going to happen, I feel certain that that is going to happen."

As family and friends hope and wait for the answers to the questions who and why, Jones is one of the many that keeps JB and Tracie’s memories alive.


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