The family of Willie James Jackson observed his birthday Friday, but there was no celebration. Jackson disappeared Sept. 10, 2015, and investigators are still searching for answers.
Family members gathered Thursday at the Bulloch County 911 center, meeting with the media and law enforcement, pleading for news of Jackson’s whereabouts. “Even if it is just his remains, please, we need closure,
begged his aunt, Wilma Hill.
Jackson was last seen by his mother as he stood with a group of friends next to the Julia P. Bryant Elementary School football field, where they watched a middle school game. Wanda Jackson and police detectives have questioned the friends who were there, but no one seems willing to talk, even if they know where Jackson went.
‘Somebody knows something,” she said.
Bulloch County Sheriff’s Inv. Jason Long agrees. The case was first reported to the Statesboro Police Department, where former detective Scott Brunson opened the initial investigation. About a year later, evidence led to the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office joining in the search.
“We know for a fact there are people who do have information and can help us,” Long said. But investigators and family members feel those who know what happened to Jackson are afraid to speak out.
They need not fear for their safety, because there are several ways to leave anonymous tips, Long said.
“Come forward and speak up,” urged Wanda Jackson. “There are no words for how we feel. Anything you saw, just please call the tip line. Call and tell what you know. You don’t have to leave your name.”
Jackson was also known by the nicknames "Willie Monk" and "Jamie," and he lived on Baldwin Street, a few houses down from his mother, along with his girlfriend and their daughter, now three.
Shortly after her son disappeared, Wanda Jackson told the Statesboro Herald her son’s girlfriend notified her when he didn’t come home that day, and she knows he would not disappear voluntarily because “he would check on that baby.”
She said family members called his cell phone repeatedly, but those calls went straight to voicemail. .
Now, over two years later, his whereabouts remains unknown. Days after he went missing, Ms. Jackson pled for information and to this day begs those who may know something to come forward.
"Somebody knows something," she said when the case was still fresh. Nobody is saying anything. They've all got the tight mouth. I pray God will put it on their hearts to say something if they know it."
Long said Thursday the case is “solvable,” but “We’re looking for that last little straw.”
Anonymous tips may be submitted at www.tipsoft.com or by sending the text "TIPSSPD" followed by the tip to 274637 (CRIMES).
Calls may also be made to the Statesboro Police Department at (912) 764-9911 or Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office at (912) 764-8888.
All information is strictly confidential
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.