Breakthrough in 2013 cold case bittersweet for victim's family

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - After nearly three years, a breakthrough this week in a Savannah murder case that many thought had gone cold.

21-year-old Rebecca Foley was shot and killed in Savannah in January of 2013. And Wednesday, detectives say they have suspects. The men are 23-year-old Kevin Smith, 22-year-old Roderick Parrish and 23-year-old Jordan Campbell.

They were all in jail on unrelated charges when they were served warrants by Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department detectives.

WTOC spoke with Rebecca's family about the new answers in what has been a case filled with questions these past three years, and they say the news is bittersweet.

"I'm not sure if I really was ever ready for today. You know, a lot of people say, 'What a great Christmas gift.' A great Christmas gift would've been to have my daughter here," said Jennifer Foley, Rebecca's family.

While nothing can bring her daughter back, this breakthrough could be a huge step towards bringing those responsible to justice. While others may have given up on solving the case, detectives say they never did and they never will with any so-called cold case.

"No investigation into homicide ever ends. It never stops. There is no way if you're out there as a defendant and think you got away with it, you haven't. At some point, we will come up with the information and we will bring that case to a conclusion," said Detective Alan Sammons, SCMPD.

After nearly three years of grieving, the Foley family had come to terms with the possibility that the case might never be solved. As Rebecca's sister put it, this week has been like ripping off an old scab.

"When this case was quote-unquote solved, it was really opening up a whole new box of emotions and things like that. So it's actually almost like re-living the day she died again," said Beni Cloer, Rebecca's sister.

Now, Detective Sammons says the department is developing a cold case unit to help resolve older homicide cases, like Rebecca's.

"It will give those investigators the ability to focus on those older cases or those cases that have stagnated, and give the current violent crimes investigators the ability to just focus on the new or the incoming cases," said Det. Sammons.

The Foley family plans to be in the courtroom for the entire trial process, but they say no outcome can ever give them complete closure.

"Honestly, it helps to know 'who,' but nothing is ever going to justify 'why.' And that's always going to be the question. Why was that car worth my sister's life?" said Cloer.

The three suspects will all make their first court appearances in early February. Each will face multiple charges including malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault.

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