Paul Beard and his family need your help. So, too, does those closest to Buddy Myers. And those who still are looking for answers in the 1984 murder of Roseboro’s Linda Meeker.
There are others in the city and county, countless families who have not been able to find the closure they seek because their loved ones have either been murdered with no killer arrested, or are still missing, with hopes of finding them all but dashed.
They all believe there’s at least one person out there who can help them put to rest the demons that interrupt their sleep, stir within the deepest corners of their stomachs and pound away at their temples.
In many cases, they may be right.
For every unsolved murder on law enforcement rolls, and for every missing child that has yet to be found, there is likely at least one person out there somewhere who holds a tiny detail that could be the catalyst for solving a crime.
Last week, we interviewed Beard about the death of his brother, Wilson Beard Jr., who was killed in 1993, found shot to death in his pickup truck at the old U.S. 421 rest area. In that interview, the older brother talked earnestly about his desire to keep bringing awareness to a case that he fears may never be solved.
In interviews over the past five or more years, similar sentiments have been shared by those closest to Myers who, at age 4, walked away from a Microwave Tower Road home and hasn’t been seen since. There are other unsolved murders and hit-and-runs that have occurred in between those years, with family members still hoping for what seems to be the impossible.
The pain remains and the anger bubbles just below the surface. Hope, still clung to by many, all but falters as the days grow into years, putting too much distance between what happened and those who might still recollect something that could help law enforcement officers piece it all together.
It would be hard on any of us to lose someone. Imagine how much harder it would be to lose someone at the hands of another without any justice being meted out.
Beard wants answers; he wants resolution; and he wants justice. To get them, he believes, he needs someone who knows anything about the 21-year-old case willing to come forward and open up about what they know.
The same is true of the Myers case and the other unsolved cases locked away in cold files within the confines of the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office or the Clinton Police Department.
Both law enforcement agencies have worked tirelessly to solve all theses cases, but time and distance with no leads amounts to a dead end.
We don’t know if Paul Beard’s pleas will be heard by the one person who might help him find closure; we don’t know if there’s someone out there with information that can help the Meekers or the Myers. But if there is, it is our prayer that they will come forward, offering a glimmer of hope in cases fading fast from people’s minds.
Coming forward is never easy, but it is the right thing to do.
If you know something about any of these cases or others that are unsolved in our city and county, today is the day to decide to do your part to bring peace to families who have waited far too long for it to come.