STARKVILLE, Miss. — “I was 10 years old. The phone rang. Something was wrong, very wrong.”
In September 2017, Jason Jones launched a podcast about a vicious crime that haunted the community of Starkville, Mississippi and his family.
“That call was about my grandmother. She was dead. And not just dead but murdered.”
It was Labor Day weekend 1990 and Jason’s step-grandmother Betty Jones had been staying at her friend Kathryn Crigler’s home when there was a knock on the door.
Sergeant Bill Lott.
“Betty goes and answered the door, and the guy comes in. He attacks her and then he kills her. He immediately goes towards Kathryn, strangled her, thought he killed her.”
Kathryn survived that night but died from her injuries two months later.
Sergeant Lott believed that advances in science would eventually solve the case because they had the killer’s DNA. And this past summer, Lott had that DNA profile sent to Parabon NanoLabs which is a pioneer in using DNA to predict a person’s appearance.
“Do you remember the moment when the picture revealed itself on your computer screen?”
“It’s like now I know what you look like…I’m gonna get you,” replied Lott.
But Parabon was also using other methods to try to catch the killer. And this past October, the Jones and Crigler families received some surprising news.
“Never in a million years did I think that we would get answers so quickly.”
Police now have a suspect and hope the release of the photo will help solve this cold case.
Watch the full “48 Hours” special Saturday, January 12 at 10/9c.