Two years after a young Columbus woman was brutally stabbed to death in front of her toddler, her family and police still are trying to figure out who is responsible.
Alicia Jackson, 25, was cooking dinner and paying bills when police say someone knocked on her door on Dec. 2, 2010.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that police suspect Jackson knew the person, invited them in and turned her back, allowing the killer to attack her from behind and stab her more than 30 times as her 2-year-old son, Jeremiah, sat within view in his high chair. The boy was not injured.
Jackson’s fiancee, Eugene Wilson, found her body.
“I don’t know what a 2-year-old is capable of seeing and remembering,” said Columbus police Detective Steve Eppert, who is still investigating the killing. “But I sure wish I could have asked that child who hurt his mommy.”
Eppert said his working theory is that a jealous woman from Wilson’s past is responsible for killing Jackson.
Eppert said the assault was so brutal and Jackson’s wounds so significant, that the killer had to be fueled by uncontrollable anger.
“Who has that motive? Who has that much of a personal vendetta against our victim?” Eppert said, adding that multiple stab wounds are about disfigurement and little else. “It’s personal rage. It’s jealousy.”
Some friends and relatives of Jackson’s passed lie-detector tests while others have refused.
After the killing, investigators worked for eight days, delicately and methodically collecting every piece of possible evidence at the scene.
There were no witnesses, no evidence was found in nearby trash bins, and no murder weapon ever was found.
There was blood on the front door, the back door, in the bathroom and on the back stoop, but all of it matched Jackson and fingerprints have proved fruitless. All that was missing from the apartment were two laptop computers and Jackson’s cell phone. Their power cords were still plugged into the wall, and Jackson’s purse remained untouched.
Jackson was killed just as she and Wilson were on the cusp of marrying and moving to Dallas, where he had been offered a job.
Friends and family describe Jackson as independent and motivated. As a child, she played the piano and the violin and excelled at math, loved to read, and rarely missed church.
She also played the role of comforter and peacemaker to her friends and family, always wanting everyone to be happy and get along.
“Everybody who was around her had to feel loved and safe,” said Autumn Williams, one of Jackson’s best friends since they met as freshmen living at Ohio State.
Kevin Jackson, Jackson’s father and a minister in the family’s hometown of Harrisburg, Pa., said he struggles with his daughter’s killing every day.
“There’s days I feel such animosity in my heart,” he said. “I have to find out who killed my daughter.”
He said he often talks with his son and Jackson’s brother, Trevin Jackson, about what they can do to help solve the murder.
“We want to be able to tell Jeremiah that we tried all that we could,” he said.
Jackson said he’s thankful every day that his grandson was not killed and described the boy as smart and lovable, but also cautious around new people.
“Every time I see him, I see my daughter in him,” he said. “Every time I hear something about him, I know my daughter lives on.”