‘We need your help’: JSO takes a closer look at 30-year-old cold case

LACKAWANNA, Fla. — The man who murdered a young mother in her Lackawanna home on Thomas Street 30 years ago is still walking free.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is re-examining the case, and they need your help solving it.

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“We always say in Cold Case, the cold cases are public safety issues because a person could still be out there. They could be in front of you at the grocery store, or the restaurant or wherever. If they are capable of going into your home with you and your daughter being there, then who knows what they are capable of,” said detective Ray Reeves with the JSO Homicide Cold Case Unit.

Reeves is re-examining the murder of a 24-year-old single mother, Sherry Ross.

Action News Jax Courtney Cole shares what detectives know about the case and the important factor allowing the Homicide Cold Case Unit to take a closer look now.

“It’s a regular day, May 8, 1991,” said Reeves.

It was the last day Ross would ever see her 6-year-old daughter Graylyn.

“She takes Graylyn to school, and then she picks her up that afternoon, they get back home, and it’s just Sherry and Graylyn at home,” Reeves explained. “Sometime after 3 o’clock, they arrive back home.”

Shortly after they got home, Reeves said Graylyn was in her bedroom when she heard her mom scream.

“She hears a man’s voice, a male, saying, ‘Give me all your money, give me your gold,’ and her mother is yelling,” Reeves continued.

Graylyn initially hid under her bed, which gave her a chance to see at least part of the suspect.

“She tells investigators then that she could see a man’s feet—his legs and his feet. And she hears a commotion in the other room.”

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Reeves said Graylyn then heard the suspect say: “Is there anybody else home?” And Ross, to protect her daughter, says no.

Graylyn stayed hidden until she didn’t hear any more sounds. When she came out of her bedroom, “She sees blood on the floor, blood drops, and she follows that into her mother’s room, and she finds her mother laying on the bed,” said Reeves.

Graylyn tried to wake her mom up. When it didn’t work, Reeves told Action News Jax Courtney Cole she ran to a neighbor’s house for help.

Reeves said the suspect is described as a white male with “all over tan skin, with an accent, maybe Spanish? Or Hispanic? And in their 20s, about 5′8″, 135 pounds, with hair that’s maybe to shoulder length. That was the description that was provided at the time.”

Cole asked,

“How is her daughter feeling knowing that this case is being reopened?”

“She wants to seek justice. She’s been very cooperative, very helpful and all of these things. She’s willing to talk, and do, and help, whatever we need to do,” Reeves said.

Reeves said there was a lot of evidence collected, including the murder weapon, which was a knife. They also found some blood and partial fingerprints.

“Some of those items have been processed, but we are now at a place with DNA technology, I am re-looking at this evidence and submitting items to have assessed again,” Reeves said.

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The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said they really need your help. If you’re reading this and hesitant to share— Reeves said there’s nothing too insignificant to mention.

Anyone with information can call JSO at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers, which you can do anonymously, at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).