Crime Tracker: Williamson County Cold Case Squad

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By Sam Jones
By Andy Shofstall

WILLIAMSON COUNTY — The Cold Case Squad is marking its four year anniversary this month. It focuses on unsolved crimes from decades ago. While the investigators haven't had major breaks yet, they're hopeful that will change.

Their top priorities are the high profile murders of LaDonna Cooper and Keith Brown. Investigators say they're closer than ever to solving those crimes. It's their mission to make sure the victims aren't forgotten, and with your help, these families could get the closure they need.

“Where's the justice for Keith? It’s been 21 years. The family needs answers,” Teresa Brown urged.

She’s spent the better part of two decades in limbo, waiting to find out who murdered her husband. The hardest part:

“The not knowing. It's always been the not knowing. He took me to work one day and I never saw him again,” she said.

His body was found in a field near Crab Orchard Lake back in 1993, months after he went missing. For Teresa, the nightmare never ended.

“They should be paying for the crime they committed. That angers me, if there's still somebody out there and the possibility they can do it again,” explained Brown.

The Williamson County Cold Case Squad keeps hope alive for her family.

“It's on our minds seven days of a week,” Bill Marks advised.

They also support Ladonna Cooper's family. The mother of three was the victim of a robbery gone wrong; stabbed to death after leaving the former Marion Bonanza Restaurant in 1987.

“Not only is this person a victim, but their family, children, mothers, fathers,” Mark said.

Cases like this prompted him to start the cold case squad. It’s made up of retired detectives, police officers, and other volunteers.

“Justice is long overdue and it's time for justice to take place,” Paul Echols urged.

They spend hours in a  room at the sheriff’s department, combing over evidence and tips.  They’re also working on the case of a man convicted of criminal sexual assault of a juvenile in 1990.

“There's been a lot of hard work put into this and no it's not easy it certainly not easy,” Echols explained.

The suspect in that crime is Robert Haun, who fled before he could be sentenced. The squad hopes someone will turn him in, along with anyone involved in the other murders.

“There's some of these cases we've looked at where we believed there’s multiple suspects. It's very hard to conceive there's not somebody out there with a piece of this puzzle,” said Echols.

If you have know any details about these cases, no matter how big or small, the squad wants to hear from you. You can call the anonymous tip line at 618-997-1301 extension 1333 or Call 1-800-414-TIPS

Any tips for our Crime Tracker can be sent to sjones@wsiltv.com or facebook.com/samanthajonestv

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