SAVANNAH, Ga. (CBS46)-- Stacy Patterson has waited nearly three decades for answers in her sister's murder.

"She was stabbed more than 100 times, hogtied, and run over. It was just terrible," she remembers.

In 1994, 17-year-old Tami Jackson had moved in with some friends on Hutchinson Island, outside of Savannah. Patterson says her sister was a typical teenager, and believes Tami was running with the wrong crowd in the weeks leading to her death. "From what we know, the people she was staying with were irritating her, and she took a walk, and no one ever saw her after that," says Patterson.

Construction workers found her body on January 26, 1994. Local police investigated, but were never able to determine who killed Tami.

CBS46 Crime Scene Investigator Sheryl "Mac" McCollum says at the time, there were limitations on what police could do with DNA. Now, there are more possibilities than ever before.

Mac led the CSI Atlanta team to Francine Bardole, a forensic analyst based in Utah. Bardole is helping the next generation of investigators solve the latest cases, and some older cold cases, by using her patented Bardole Method.

"It's not that the police aren't doing anything. It's that the police don't know what else to do," Bardole says.

Now, Savannah detective Tarra Smith is working alongside Bardole to test the DNA evidence in this case.

"[Tami's] life is going to be able to help thousands of cold cases. We're telling people how to get these cases solved," says McCollum.

"We are going to get this done, this is a solvable case," adds Bardole.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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