Feb 10 2006

Family thankful for all the hard work

The Troy Messenger

By Jaine Treadwell

 

Edna Reeves' daughter, Patricia Pike, and granddaughter, Laura Campbell, stood expressionless as Sheriff Russell Thomas identified Reeves' killer at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

 

The name, Mason Alex Sims, had been a closely guarded secret. However, the rumor mill proved to be churning true. The suspect is deceased.

 

DNA evidence has “positively” linked him to the death of the gentile, Springhill grandmother.

 

“Am I happy? No,” Pike said. “Do I have closure? No. Closure would only come if my mother could come back. Basically, this doesn't change anything.”

 

However, for Campbell, knowing that the individual who raped and brutally murdered her grandmother is not still out there - perhaps riding by her house or parked next to her a shopping mall - brings some measure of comfort.

 

“And it's good to know that he won't hurt anyone else,” Campbell said. “I'm glad, too, that we don't have to go through a trial. We have been spared that.”

 

The family has seen photographs of the man who killed their loved one.

 

“Putting a face on it doesn't really change anything,” Pike said. “No. It doesn't.”

 

Reeves' family has been living with the nightmare of her death for nearly 13 years and it's never been far from their minds.

 

“At times, my mind has been on cruise,” Pike said. “God didn't let my mind go where to a place where it didn't need to be. But, the thought of my mother's death is always there. We have been on first name basis with many of the people at the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences. So many people have worked so hard to solve this crime and we are so appreciative of all that they have done.”

           

 

Campbell said the family of Edna Reeves owes a debt of gratitude to Thomas and the Pike County Sheriff's Department, District Attorney Gary McAliley, Pike County Coroner Jerry Williams, the Troy Police Department, Taylor Noggle, director of the state department of forensic sciences, Angelo Della Manna, chief of forensic biology and DNA, and the many others at the state lab.

 

“We also want to thank Sen. Richard Shelby, who really came to bat for Alabama and made sure that we had the funds to test DNA samples in the backlog at the state's crime labs,” she said.

 

The family of Edna Youngblood Reeves can now put a name and a face to her killer and, if that brings any comfort, it will be theirs. However, they are hopeful that all attempts will be made to determine whether Sims is connected to any other unsolved crimes.