“Honestly, everybody knows who killed my brother,” Maddox said. “I didn’t ever believe it would make it to 20 years.”
And that’s 20 years of pain his family has endured, Williams said.
For two decades, police have known who killed Johnson and Rasheed. And they believe that for 20 years, those three people have gotten away with murder.
“Absolutely. Absolutely. And have, for 20 years,” Spann, who was appointed to commander in 1998 and oversaw the investigation, said. “We pretty quickly, were able to figure out who the three individuals were.”
In fact, they knew within days.
“One of the three suspects had a very violent criminal history leading up to this and was no stranger to robbing individuals on the street with weapons,” Spann revealed. “They took them out there with the intent to rob them, a scuffle ensued. He was shot twice in the face.”
While police spent hundreds of hours draining a nearby lake and dredging it, they never found the weapon.
Although, the men, who police believe, committed the crime, said that they drove the victims a short distance to a gas station and dropped them off, they deny killing and robbing them, Spann said.
However, a Conyers man confessed to the shootings, he said. He told police that he was just along for the ride to rob the two men, he didn’t think the others would kill them. The man took them to the crime scene and re-enacted the shooting, which matched physical evidence perfectly.
But he recanted his statement.
Now, they said, they need people with information to come forward.
“You just never know if there was something that somebody knew at the time that was afraid to come forward and provide us with some information,” he said. “We have had some people come forward, after the crime occurred, they were subsequently scared off a little bit.”
He’s kept a close eye on the three men the past 20 years and said that one of the brothers and the Conyers man have been in and out of prison.
Rockdale County District Attorney Richard Read said they believe they know who may have done this—but it’s not enough.
“Thinking we know what happened and proving what happened are two different things,” he said.
Read plans on asking the GBI crime lab to retest the shell casings from the crime scene and re-examine what limited crime scene physical evidence there is, using scientific lab tools and processes that weren’t available 20 years ago.
“…see if there is something with the advances in science that we can do today that might develop a connection to a potential suspect or suspects in this case,” Read said. “One of the things that labs have gotten much better in doing if finding minute amounts of DNA.”
Therefore, he said, if there’s a possibility they could go back do touch DNA, which he called the, the “minutest of DNA” that might be on the shell casings, they would have some of the evidence they need.
“We just gotta continue to push and probe and dig until we can connect all the dots so we can prove what happened,” Read said.
And he knows his job isn’t done until the case is solved and prosecuted with convictions and justice for the families.
“Our job’s not done. And so, we’ll keep working on it as long as we have a lead to pursue,” Read said. “And our job can’t be done until we achieve justice not only for the victims in this case, but their families, as well.”
“There is no statute of limitations on murder. I have two cases. I have two cold cases I keep in my office. This is one of them. It’s still an open investigation.”