Case Spotlights

jillian berrios

Jillian Berrios

By Andrea Davis

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

It was 5:39 a.m. The sun hadn’t even come up yet.

After a night of dancing and celebrating the birthday of a Jacksonville friend, all Jillian Berrios wanted to do was go home, climb into bed and sleep before waking up to her kids.

That never happened, because at that moment, her life came to an end. Read more

taurus dawson

Taurus Dawson

By Alex Toth

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

Mindi Dawson Skeith will never forget driving her brother to Tulsa Welding School on his first day. She will never forget how his face lit up when a counselor asked him what he wanted in life.

Taurus Dawson sat to his sister’s left side, a smile on his face, and said he wanted to live a long life. He wanted a house with a garage. He wanted a wife and kids.

“He had plans, he had goals,” Skeith said. “And he’ll never reach them.” Read more

jason pelishek

Jason Pelishek

By Michael Card

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

Two Secret Service agents in black suits greeted Jessie Mckinnon at the door of her home outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after she returned from a routine day at work.

The two men had targeted a person they assumed to be her husband, Jason Pelishek, for hacking into a company’s online database, and said needed to talk with him immediately.

“Jason is my 14-year-old son, not my husband,” Mckinnon said to the agents. Read more

willie jackson

Willie James Jackson

By Steven Thompson

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

It’s been nearly a decade since Willie James Jackson was murdered on the streets of the city in which he grew up.

Yet police are no closer to solving the crime than the night it happened.

The years of waiting for justice has taken a toll on Jackson’s  family. Read more

robert helen joy sims

Robert, Helen, Joy Sims

By: Brianna Bartlett

This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.

 

“Something terrible has happened, please come,” Norma Jeannette Sims pleaded with a Tallahassee funeral home ambulance service. She stood in her parents’ bedroom overlooking the bound bodies of her father lying on the bed while her mother and youngest sister lie on the beige carpet.

On that Saturday, Oct. 22, 1966, then seventeen-year-old Sims had been babysitting for a family that attended the Florida State football game. When the game ended and the family returned, she returned home with no one there to welcome her. Read more

curtis council

Curtis Council

By: Bailie Staton

 

In the early hours of Sept. 2, 1994, Curtis Ricardo Council, 20, would be taken away from his new family forever.

He had just arrived at his grandmother’s house from the Raines versus Ribault High School rivalry football game. Council and his friend Akbar Perkins, 20, received a page to Council’s beeper. After that alert, Council and Perkins left the home.

Backing out of the driveway, Council stopped and Perkins got out of the car to close the gate behind them. That was the last moment the friends had together. Read more

kelli chapple

Kelli Chapple

By Sara Crouch

 

The lessening of the constant pain never comes easily – if at all — for the families of the murdered.

But it’s even harder when there’s are few answer in a case that’s gone cold.

That’s the case with Bernard Chapple, the father of then-23-year-old Kelli Chapple.

“You know, they say you’ll get closure,” Chapple said. “You don’t ever get closure. You suffer every day. You just want to know the answers to what happened.” Read more

joseph dimare

Joseph DiMare

By James Donlon

 

It was 3 a.m. on a cold winter night in Bradenton. Richard DiMare and his two brothers were fast asleep at their father’s farm.

In the 1950s, winter farming meant lighting kerosene lamps and placing them between rows of tomato plants to ward off the frost. DiMare remembers his father waking them, then leading them out to the fields to ensure their crops didn’t freeze. Read more

ali gilmore

Ali Gilmore

By Alexia Carrasco

 

At 30-years-old, Tallahassee resident, Ali Gilmore, was finally able to check off her goals she worked so hard for. She landed a good job at the Florida Department of Health as an analyst, was pregnant with her first child, and had purchased her first home in a good community. All that was taken away when she seemed to vanish in thin air. Read more

anna marie mullen

Anna Marie Mullin

By Chase Carle

 

Strawberry blonde hair, a beautiful smile and an infectiously friendly personality — those are just some of the ways friends and family describe Anna Marie Mullin.

Sure, she’d had a hard life – a childhood filled with trauma and an adulthood filled with alcohol — but her generosity was never questioned. Read more