Crime Stoppers Cold Case: Murder of Mena Richie
The hope in featuring a case like this again and again is that, with the passage of time, people will eventually feel the freedom to speak, whether that is motivated by guilt or a sense of personal safety.
Hopefully, finally, momentum is building to solve Mena Richie's murder and provide answers for daughters Virginia and Ann. "She would do anything for anybody, and why?" Virginia asked when we talked with her in July of 2014. "That's my only question. Why?"
Someone attacked and brutally killed their mother, Mena Richie, on July 24, 1989. She lived by herself in Signal Hills at the foot of Signal Mountain. Investigators have said they believe someone was looking for cash she was rumored to have hidden.
"This doesn't appear to be a 'stranger came through the neighborhood and went into Mena's house' kind of thing," said Chattanooga Police Sgt. Bill Phillips. He has worked the case for the last two decades. "I believe that local people know what happened," he added.
This has been a prominent cold case for years. Ten years ago, our Bill Markham talked with then Chattanooga Police Investigator Tim Carroll. Now retired, he was another one of the original investigators. "The first thing I saw on the floor was an a lot of blood," he said in 2006. "We got in the back porch, there's items laying on the floor from the refrigerator. I didn't think much about it at the time. And inside the kitchen, the refrigerator's open, items around, milk spilled. And then, in her bedroom, there was a sewing machine that had been gone through, ransacked. And the word was, that was the three places that she kept money. We actually recovered money from the sewing machine."
In July of 2014 we joined Mena's family at her grave site, as did the District Attorney, the Police Chief, and Investigators, for a celebration of her life and a solemn remembrance of the quarter-century that had passed since her murder. For them, the wounds will not heal without answers.
"It's a crying week and a trying week," said Virginia. "We're just a tight close family and we want someone out there to please, if you know anything, please call. This is so hard for us every year."
U p to $1,000 is on the table for your good information. Help investigators finally wrap this case up.
Call Crime Stoppers: 698-3333
If you get voicemail, leave a way for investigators to get back with you. They will have questions, but they will never ask who you are.