McAlester Man Hopes For Justice In Sister's Cold Case Murder
McALESTER, Oklahoma - The Pittsburg County Sheriff has re-opened a cold case that has left a McAlester family numb for nearly 30 years. Sheriff Chris Morris took office about a year ago and said it's been his goal to dig into some of the county's unsolved murders.
Sometimes 27 years feels like yesterday for Jerry Rose.
"March 29, 1990," he said. "It's like an ongoing pain that you never get rid of."
It was March 1990 when his mom called saying his sister Darla Rose had disappeared walking home from a party in McAlester.
"Said, 'Jerry, I'm worried about Darla,'" Jerry Rose said. "Immediately I felt something was wrong too."
A month later, someone discovered Darla's body in a creek west of town. She was a 33-year-old mother of three. The sheriff says the Medical Examiner ruled Rose had been suffocated.
"Your heart just sinks," Jerry said.
Over the years, pictures helped keep the memories alive.
"This is our family," he said. "She's the life of the party. Full of life. Very artistic - loved music."
But the tips stopped and the case eventually went cold. Jerry figured they'd never have answers.
"You have an emptiness that you just can't fill," said Jerry Rose, whose sister Darla was killed 27 years ago.
Now there's a renewed hope that Darla's killer will be found.
"I think we're gonna get it solved," said Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris.
Morris reopened the case and said they are trying to track down witnesses who may have seen Darla Rose the night she disappeared.
"Made me feel really good to know that somebody still cares," Jerry said.
A 30-year veteran detective with the McAlester Police Department, retired Assistant Chief George Scott, is volunteering his time to head up the investigation. OSBI Agent John Jones is also helping.
"George was working that day, and he went out there and was at the scene where Darla's body has been found," Sheriff Morris said. "For me to want to do this and open these back up, and to him to step in out of the blue - I just think it's meant to be."
They believe witnesses may feel more comfortable talking now.
"Enough time has passed, no witnesses need to be scared of anybody out there," Morris said. "We're gonna protect them, and we're gonna do everything we can to solve this crime."
Darla's brother said one tip could break open the case and bring his family the justice they've waited for - for so long.
"At long last, after 27 years, it'll give us some closure," Jerry Rose said.
If you know anything about this case - call the Pittsburg County Sheriff's Office at 918-423-5858. You can also write Sheriff Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.