AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – This year NewsChannel 6 took on the task of telling stories about the murdered and missing. Many of those victims had little to no television coverage and therefore, their families had no opportunities to find out who might be responsible. This month’s three part Cold Case Project will take a look back at all of the cases featured this year and where they stand today.
“It was very much two, twin girls that was trying to get to school,” said Shanta Sturgis. That’s all they wanted to do.”
Cold Case Project started its mission to share stories on the murdered and missing on March 18th of this year. It was the 31st anniversary of 15-year-old missing twins, Dannette and Jeanette Millbrook. We sat down with their mother, Mary “Louise” Sturgis and their sister Shanta as they recounted how the girls left their home that day on Cooney Circle to visit with a family friend near 12th Street and MLK Boulevard where they were last seen around 4:30 in the afternoon at a gas station. A clerk there said back then, they just disappeared.
“Every person, without question, who knew the twins have said they would not get into a car with someone they didn’t know,” said Brooke Hargrove with The Fall Line Podcast.
Since we aired that story, we can now share that with the help of crowdsourcing from The Fall Line Podcast, which has followed the story for many years, the family was able to hire a private detective. In the past year, he’s made some progress following leads. Laurah Norton with The Fall Line told us, “The investigator supplied by the nonprofit Private Investigations for the Missing is still actively working on the twins’ case, and has been in Augusta and other areas throughout the summer and fall to follow up on leads and conduct interviews.”
“I drove around North Augusta and Aiken hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours on the weekends looking for that car,” Joel Clayton, Rev. Ivey’s grandson told us.
For the family of Rev. James Ivey, a pastor and businessman in Aiken County, it’s been the vague description of a black man with green gloves and who got away with armed robbery murder in a black car.
“Why somebody would do that to a clergy member, somebody that gave so much to this community,” his other grandson, James “Jamie” Clayton told us.
Rev. Ivey owned a used furniture store on Jefferson Davis Highway in Langley. On October 9, 1998, a witness said the killer came inside Jim’s Used Furniture store, grabbed household items and used them as weapons to kill Ivey. Since the story aired in April, we gained access inside what used to be Ivey’s store. And even the exact location where Ivey was attacked and murdered inside. A man calling himself one of Rev. Ivey’s friends called Cold Case Project months after the story ran. He said he believes he saw someone who fit the description of the suspect several weeks inside the store.
“I watched him come in and start walking around and I came back to see Mr. Ivey and I said, Mr. Ivey, this man just came in the store with a pair of heavy duty rubber gloves on with a heavy duty wrist band,” Fred Sanders told Cold Case Project. “I said that doesn’t seem to me to be proper, is he coming here to harm you in some way or rob you?”
Sanders described the man as an African American with an athletic build, short neck, and close haircut similar to the witness’ description to police that day. He also believes the suspect may have been driving a black, 60s or 70s model refurbished Camero, also similar to the car described to authorities.
Sanders added, “I’m hoping that my information can link with something someone else may know.”
There are no updates at this time in the murder of Larry Sanders Jr at his Edgefield County home July 10, 2010. But his mother, Carolyn Bates is still in talks with law enforcement and holding out hope for justice. We sat down with her and Sanders’ brother DeJuan in May to learn more about what led to the home invasion that claimed Larry’s life. They shared that a similar incident happed before he was killed when he lived in Chalet North Court Apartments in North Augusta.
“Somebody tried to break into the apartment and so he moved out,” his brother explained. “He stayed in a hotel for a week or two until he found another house to move to. He moved to that house. Things were quiet for a minute and I heard there was a few situations where him and someone didn’t get along.”
Sanders was killed at his home on the 100 block of Eagle Road, in the Merriwether community near Fox Creek High School. The responding officer searched outside the mobile home for a suspect that day. He found Sanders shot to death on the floor of his bedroom. Also in the room was his 19-year-old girlfriend at the time, Cali Whitaker. The report states she was covered in his blood after attempting to give him CPR.
“Disgusted. Aggravated. Just wondering why,” shared Greg Gurley in unsolved murder of his son.
December 20 will be the 7th year loved ones and friends of Jonathan Gurley wait for someone to be arrested and convicted for his murder. The 28-year-old Thomson man was killed outside of his Shadowmoor Circle home in 2014. Police reported that the crime was drug related and included the theft of personal items, including Gurley’s truck, which was later found. As the GBI investigates this case, Gurley has a message for those responsible.
He added, “They need to find it in their heart to speak up because the good Lord watching them. And when they time come they might not go up. They’ll be right down there in the ground with ole Satan with his horns on.”
“As we going in the house, my phone ring. The girl on the other line said, ‘you need to get to Hahn Village, Fat Man just been shot.’ My instant mind is telling everybody we got to go. We couldn’t find the keys. I started running,” Timicia James, mother of Moses Williams Jr shared with us.
Super Bowl Sunday 2012 changed the lives of the family of Moses Williams Jr forever. The 19-year-old died shortly at the hospital after being shot in Aiken’s now condemned Hahn Village. Williams, who had recently graduated from high school and became a father, was dropping off his girlfriend Shawiday Pope and her sister when the crime occurred. Loved ones said someone close to Williams knew what happened. And his large and loving family demanded justice immediately.
His uncle, Al Thomas said, “If somebody would have said, ‘This is him. This is him!’ Aww man. They’d been planning for him that week too.”
His mother told us there are no updates in this case But instead, they are relying on the legal system and a higher power.
“I believe a life for a life,” aunt Cathie Curry said. “But, I mean, that’s not for me to decide. That’s in God’s hands. But I do feel like they need to spend some time in jail for what they did to my nephew.”
Part 2 airs next Thursday, December 23 at 5 p.m.