Parents still seeking answers after son's murder in Oil Trough - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Parents still seeking answers after son's murder in Oil Trough

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OIL TROUGH, AR (KAIT) – The Independence County Sheriff's Office began investigating a murder outside Oil Trough more than a year ago, and the case remains unsolved.

The victim was Bobby Willis Jr., who was shot and killed in November 2011.

It's been 15 months since his tragic death, and his family is now asking anyone with information to come forward and help solve this case that seems to have gone cold.

"I still think about it every day," said Bobby Willis Sr., the victim's father.

Unanswered questions have filled the elder Willis' mind since his son's death more than a year ago.

"It still lays heavy on my mind," he said. "I just think about it all the time. I can't get away from it until something closes it. It's not happened yet."

He claims he could clear his mind once his son's killer is caught.

The younger Willis died in November 2011 after sustaining two gunshot wounds – one in the shoulder, the other in the head. The shooting occurred on Freeman Lane in Oil Trough at a home that the elder Willis asked his son repeatedly to avoid.

"Not once, twice, but a hundred times," he said. "I just said stay away from there [and] that those people are terrible."

Willis is unsure why his son was even at that home, which was located not far from his own house at the time. He and his fiancée, Pam Merritt, moved so that they would no longer have to see the people that he says he knows shot "Little Bobby."

"Something needs to be done," Merritt said. "It needs to stay open and get solved or just go ahead and close the case if it's hopeless and they can't solve it, so we can move on and do what we need to do."

The Independence County Sheriff's Office has yet to name any suspects or make any arrests related to the case. That's why Willis and Merritt would like Arkansas State Police to now join the investigation.

"I think if the state police department would get involved," Willis said, "I have 100 percent hope and faith that it would get solved."

The chief investigator on this case was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

Anyone with information about this murder investigation should call the Criminal Investigations Division with the Independence County Sheriff's Office at 870-793-8878.

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