JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jerlene Gilmore of Helena-West Helena is still coping with her son's murder. More than four years later, police haven't named a person of interest in the murder of Michael Gilmore on the ASU campus. On April 16, 2010, someone shot him in the head at his Collegiate Park apartment. The next day he died.
Jerlene says she knows who killed her son. Region 8 Investigator Amanda Hanson spent over an hour talking with Jerlene about her son's life and his death. She said she never imagined she would be buying her son's first suit for his funeral.
"Bring us some type of closure to this...four years and it's still yesterday for us," said Jerlene.
Michael Gilmore was only 24 years old when he died. "He had big dreams. He had big dreams for his momma and his family. He loved his family," said Jerlene.
Those dreams brought Michael to Arkansas State University. He lived in apartment at Collegiate on campus. Little did Jerlene know what would later happen there.
April 16th, 2010 life changed for the Gilmore family. Jerlene got a call from a friend telling her Michael had been shot inside his apartment. "I went in to get my jacket. I hadn't even realized I put my coat on the wrong side," said Jerlene.
Jerlene rushed to the Med in Memphis. "I knew it was bad when they called the Chaplin in to talk to us." She will never forget her last moments with her son. "I said "Rudy"....momma's here. I said "Rudy" I love you. I said you are going to be alright. And when I told him that, he let go of both of our hands at the same time and one tear came out of his right eye. And I saw when his spirit left him," said Jerlene.
Her son Michael had passed. "Lord, I said why did this have to happen to him? And then there's other people out there doing bad things and nothing is happening to them," said Jerlene.
University Police never charged anyone for the murder. "They told us who did it, but they said they didn't have enough evidence to pin him there…The type of action that has been taken is that my son's life didn't mean nothing," said Jerlene.
Jerlene wants justice. Region 8 Investigator Amanda Hanson went to Arkansas State University to get answers. ASU officials declined to comment, citing legal reasons and an on-going investigation.
Region 8 News did obtain E-mails dated from October 2013 of correspondence between Jonesboro Police Chief Mike Yates and Jerlene's Attorney, requesting that JPD try to take over the investigation.
Jerlene's Attorney noted:
"(Mrs. Gilmore) She has not had contact with ASU in quite some time and does not believe a thorough enough investigation has been conducted."
Chief Yates forwarded that e-mail to University Police Chief Randy Martin, who then acknowledging receipt of the request.
Shortly after, Chief Yates received this response from Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Rick Stripling....
"The University Police Department has been consulting with Arkansas State Police since this case developed. Because Arkansas State University is a state agency, it's customary to involve Arkansas State Police, and we will continue to work with that agency on the investigation."
Region 8 News contacted ASP, who replied:
"Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police were contacted by ASU approximately two years after the incident. Currently ASP/CID is in an assisting role. ASU Police is primary."
While there are still so many questions surrounding her son's death, Jerlene refuses to give up on finding answers.
"You know who you are and you know what you have done. And I would like for you all to just let your heart speak to you and do the right thing and turn yourself in. You just did not kill "Rudy", you killed his whole family," said Jerlene.
If you have any information, contact University Police at (870) 972-2093.