DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) – After eight years, Vanessa “Honey” Malone’s family has finally received answers into who killed the 18-year-old.
DeKalb County Police arrested 34-year-old Donald Ash for the 2012 murder.
Honey was shot twice – once in the chest and in the back – after knocking on the door of her friend’s Stone Mountain.
Honey’s mom, Flora Malone spoke exclusively to CBS46’s CSI Atlanta team on the arrest.
“I’m still kind of shaking from it because I’ve been waiting for this for so long,” she told CBS46.
Malone said Ash was an acquaintance of Honey’s and someone she had pressed DeKalb Police for years to investigate.
“He’s been out there in the streets, having fun, living his life,” she said. “I want to know how it’s possible to live with yourself after doing something like that. How can you get up every day and look in the mirror, and think you’re an okay person?”
DeKalb Police released few details surrounding Ash’s arrest but posted on social media “that extensive detective work that led us to new evidence, which ultimately resulted in Ash’s arrest.”
He was charged with second-degree murder and, concealing facts and false statements.
CBS46’s crime scene investigator Sheryl ‘Mac’ McCollum, who worked alongside the CSI Atlanta team to keep Honey’s case in the spotlight, said the arrest marks some closure for Honey’s family.
CSI Atlanta met with DeKalb police to discuss forensic testing that could help identify suspects, and also partnered with the Dr. Oz show last month to bring the case a national audience in hopes of solving it.
“Beyond ecstatic for her momma,” said McCollum. “Obviously we’d love a conviction because that would solidify what her family has been hoping for.”
Police said Honey’s case grew cold quickly after witnesses refused to cooperate.
Police have maintained Honey was a victim of a botched robbery. Police said on October 2012, Honey surprised the robbers, arriving while they ransacked the apartment.
An unknown number of masked men carrying guns had kicked in the door and tied up her two friends – a man and a woman – in the bathroom.
Honey was the only one harmed.
But that details surrounding Honey’s death could change with the release of new information, McCollum said.
“We would love for more information to come out because the biggest thing that her momma doesn’t know is the ‘why,’” said McCollum. “Why was she shot, when nobody in that apartment was injured.”
Police said the investigation is ongoing. CSI Atlanta will continue to update the story as new details become available.