Carrollton Mayor Wayne Garner announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who murdered University of West Georgia student Toyal Jackson 13 years ago.
"This is THE unsolved case in the city of Carrollton," said Garner at a news conference Thursday afternoon. "If you have any information on this case, now is the time to come forward."
Jackson was abducted from the Walmart parking lot in Carrollton on Oct. 29, 2000. Her body was found in a city field a month later.
Garner said he hopes the new reward will lead to new leads that will solve the case.
"It was a horrible case, horrible killing. Let's face it, who did it is still out there," said Garner.
A CBS Atlanta News special report featured the cold case in January 2012.
Emma Jackson said her daughter died 13 years ago but the loss is still vivid in her mind.
To remember her daughter's voice, Emma Jackson has saved her outgoing answering machine message which Toyal Jackson recorded before she was abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered.
It was a crime that shook the small city in rural Carroll County and has stumped police investigators ever since.
"I just miss her presence and her love," said Emma Jackson.
"I miss what she probably could have been. I try to think what would she be like now," said Gene Jackson, Toyal's father.
Once a stand-out high school basketball player from Decatur, Toyal Jackson was a promising student when she left for a shopping trip to Walmart and never returned.
Carrollton police Capt. Chris Dobbs said the crime was particularly frightening to the community because of where Toyal was abducted.
"Everybody goes to Walmart. You want to think Walmart is safe," said Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent Larry Duren.
Dobbs said the surveillance cameras at the Walmart in Carrollton were not working the night Toyal Jackson was abducted.
Police have been able to develop a sketch of the suspect based on information from another shopper.
According to police, the witness recalled seeing a man lead Toyal Jackson into a waiting pickup truck in the Walmart parking lot. The witness told investigators the man pushed Toyal Jackson into the driver's side and he got in after her.
The witness described the abductor as a white man, 25 to 35 years old at the time, standing about 5'5" tall, with dark hair and a stocky build.
The vehicle he was driving was described as a dull red Nissan pickup truck.
Toyal Jackson's body was found on Nov. 30, 2000, in a field used as a wastewater treatment facility in Carrollton.
Investigators said they believe the abductor raped and then murdered Toyal Jackson. Based on the remote location of her body, they believe the culprit likely lived in the area at one point.
Dobbs and Duren said the Jackson case is something they would like to solve before their careers end.
For Gene and Emma Jackson, finding their daughter's killer would bring piece of mind and closure.
"Please come forth with any little detail because what you may think is small, the police may be able to use it to catch my child's killer," said Emma Jackson.
Investigators said the public can help solve the case by being alert. They think the murderer has likely spoken about the crime to someone.
If you know any information about the case, call the Carrollton police at 770-834-4451 or the GBI at 706-565-7888.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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