Janice Porter remembers her son, Dallas. "He was a good kid," she said. Everyday she thinks of him and his smile. And every hour she is haunted by his murder.
This Halloween will mark 12 years since the 23-year old was shot to death. "In the evening hours, he was taking a coworker, an acquaintance, to his home in the Saint Elmo-Alton Park area," explained Sgt. Bill Phillips of the Chattanooga Police Department's Cold Case Unit. "The 4500 block of Cain Lane."
Dallas Nelson was found the next morning by his car. His empty wallet was on the ground. We asked Janice the last memory she had of her son. "Just hugging him and telling him I love him," she answered. "I was thankful that I did that."
That was October 31st, 2003. Since then, her life has changed. Because of the mental anguish, she had to give up her career and draw disability. She has even changed her route around town to avoid the scene of Dallas's death. "I won't go over there," she said. "I won't. You know, I live in Flintstone. I won't even cut through Alton Park, even if it's convenient for me. I'll go all the way around town to keep from having to go through there."
Then, there's this time of year with the holidays coming on and the tragic anniversary. "This is just an extra hard month for me because his birthday is on the 17th of October and he was killed Halloween, Janice explained."
Thick 3-ring binders show a lot of information has been collected in this case through the years. Sgt. Phillips says he feels like this case is very close to being solved. The passage of time can sometimes help. "People's lives change," he added. "People may not be afraid of the things now that they were back then."
You may hold that one piece of information that makes a difference. No matter how insignificant it may seem, make that call and help this family finally find some rest. "I always think about it, every day," Janice said through tears. "I think about him, every hour. You don't forget."
Up to $1,000 reward is waiting for the right clue. All it takes is a phone call to Crime Stoppers: 698-3333
You will never be asked your name, but if you get voice mail, leave a way for the officer to get back in touch with you in case he has an extra question or two.