Murder investigation one year later

Johnelle Haynes
Johnelle Haynes

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) - A murder investigation, one year later and police say they're still looking for suspects.

Sheila Conklin doesn't remember hearing the gun shot in the middle of the night, but says she can't forget the image of 24-year-old Johnelle Haynes' body, lifeless right in front of her home. Never in the 25 years she lived in her home did she experience such violence in her neighborhood.

"I was absolutely heartbroken and I wondered who's mother to that child out there lying there dead," said Conklin.

Hopewell police say they've followed every lead surrounding this murder near Poplar Street and High Avenue, but couldn't make an arrest. Haynes' mother, Tammy Fisher, is keeping faith, someday, police will catch whoever killed her son.

"I cry every day, all day because of my son," Fisher said.

The wounds are just as fresh and painful as the day she heard of the murder last May. All this grieving mother wants is justice.

"I'm mad and angry and I want answers. I'm not going to have closure to the person who killed my son. He's still walking around," said Fisher.

As this family embraces one another on the very spot their son took his last breath, all Hayes dad could think about is what it could have been like if his son was still alive.

"For his life to get shortened like that, I think he was cheated so we're, it's kind of hard, it bothers me a little bit," said Amos Thomas, father of the victim.

"People have families and we gotta go through this. People that's killing these people don't understand what we're going through," said Hayes sister, Jenay Fisher.

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