Who Killed Candy Cook?

Published: May. 21, 2013 at 7:41 PM EDT|Updated: May. 26, 2013 at 3:44 PM EDT
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sister Tonya Jewett and mother Martha Bowling
sister Tonya Jewett and mother Martha Bowling

TIFT CO., GA (WALB) - A Tift County cold case still haunts a family nearly 10 years a young mother's murder.

It was September 2003 when the body of Candy Cook was discovered in a field near the Tift County airport. Her family believes someone knows who killed her, and they hope the person with that information will bring them the peace they need.

Tonya Jewett clutches a picture, the last one taken, of her sister Candy Cook. She was just 32-year-old when she was murdered.

"She left behind three beautiful boys. She was a good mother. She has six grandchildren that she'll never get to see," said her sister Tonya Jewett. "All we want is closure."

September 23, 2003, a farmer discovered Cook's decomposing body in a field a few hundred yards from the Tift County Airport. She had been strangled. Her family admits she had a drug problem, a battle they fought with her.

"I said 'do you know what you're doing? Look at the weight you've lost.' She said, 'Mama, I'm going to quit. I'm going to straighten up for you,'" said her mother Martha Bowling.

Regardless of her problems. Cook didn't deserve to die the way she did. And her family believes she knew her killer. "I know she did. Candy was not the type of person to just go off with someone she didn't know. There's something inside me telling me that somebody out there knows who did it," said Bowling.

Cook's murder happened less than two years after Frances Lunsford, a Tift County woman who also suffered from substance abuse, was found strangled, her body dumped in a wooded area GBI agents have not found a connection between the two murders but say DNA evidence was collected in both cases and remains in a national database.

But both cases have grown cold. "They say you get over it. You get a little bit better. I don't think that's true. I don't really think it gets that much better," said Bowling.

"If they know anything, please come forward. All I want is closure for my mom and our family," said Jewett. "My mama, I don't want her going to her grave not knowing who killed my sister. That's all I want is closure."

Closure to cold case file, one that remains very open to a family who has forgotten a lost loved one.

Cook was likely killed sometime around September 19, 2003. If you know anything about her murder or who she may have been around during that time call the GBI Sylvester Field Office at 777-2080.

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