• JSO reopens nearly 10-year-old cold case after new information comes to light

    By: Lorena Inclan , Action News Jax

    Updated:

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    On the night of Oct. 6, 2008 the corner of Colonial and Vista avenues was the backdrop of a violent crime.

    The victim was 56-year-old Stephen Wiggins, the man Katie Wiggins called dad.

    “I came the next day when we heard and we saw the blood, the shell casings over here,” said Wiggins.

    She was in her early twenties when her world changed. She’s still looking for answers nearly a decade later.

    “My love for him will never die so I’ll never give up. Ever,” said Wiggins.

    Detective Ray Reeves of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office agreed to meet with us about the case.

    “This is one piece, one of the shell casings from the caliber of gun that killed Mr. Wiggins,” said Wiggins.

    Reeves said Wiggins was at what was then Mattie’s Landing Bar, only a few blocks away.

    Around 11:30 p.m., he was spotted on surveillance video at the drive thru window of the McDonald’s on Wilson and Blanding.

    “We have all that on video. He doesn’t appear to be distressed at all,” said Reeves.

    A short time after that, a neighbor called 911 to report hearing gun shots. Minutes later a police officer found his body.

    “They noticed several gunshots wounds to his torso and to his head,” said Reeves. 

    What makes the case even more complicated is that JSO doesn’t have a motive. Wiggins’ was found lying on the road.

    His car just a few feet away with the engine still running and the driver’s side door was wide open.

    His wallet was still on his body.

    “It was not a carjacking, it wasn’t a robbery. It may have been someone he at least was familiar with,” said Reeves. 

    Thanks to new information, Reeves said they found someone who might help.

    “We were able to develop someone that at the time was someone that needed to be talked to, maybe a person of interest,” said Reeves.

    DNA taken from the scene is also being tested with new and more advanced technology.

    For Katie, the new developments are welcomed news.

    “I just want to know what happened,” said Wiggins.

    Wiggins said thanks to the support of the nonprofit, Project: Cold Case (hyper link to the website projectcoldcase.org), she feels like she’s not alone.

    “It’s helping so many people, it’s helping us get justice,” said Wiggins. “We can continue having hope.”

    To this day she still drives by this area once week.

    She’s also working on getting her master’s degree in mental health counseling. Wiggins is only months away from graduating but for her it’s yet another milestone her dad will miss.

    “I’ll also never have that chance to take a photo [with him] when I graduate with my master’s this year,” said Wiggins.

    If you have any information that could help JSO solve this cold case or any other unsolved crime, call Crimestoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

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