Twenty years have passed since the body of 74-year-old Lela Mae Adcock was found inside her apartment on Rebel Hill Street, her throat cut.
“It bothers me so much that someone would do that to her,” said her son, Paul Adcock, reflecting back on the unsolved murder of his mother. “It’s been 20 years. Maybe someone would be willing to come forward now that so much time has passed and let us know what happened and why.”
Ms. Adcock was found by a policeman who was conducting a welfare check at her McMinnville Housing Authority residence after she did not answer phone calls from relatives. She was found dead on the floor, her death due to her throat being slit.
The murder came at a time when the Adcock family had been planning to gather together for Christmas. Instead, family members spent Christmas Day huddled around their mother's casket at High Funeral home.
Since Mrs. Adcock's murder in December 1996, law enforcement officials say thousands of hours have been dedicated to the murder, but to no avail. While a few suspects have been interviewed, no charges have ever been leveled. One of those initial suspects was her son, the son who is hoping to see his mother’s murder solved.
“They insisted I did it,” Paul Adcock recalled, noting he was interviewed on more than one occasion but has always maintained his innocence.
Paul Adcock added, “I took lie detector test and passed it with flying colors.”
Mr. Adcock pointed out he was questioned about why his fingerprints and samples of his hair were found at the crime scene.
“I was there about every week, getting her medicine and taking care of her,” he said, saying lawmen were wasting time looking at him when they should have been looking for the real killer. He says he has nothing to hide.
McMinnville Police Lt. Nicole Mosley is one of the officers who has spent countless hours on the case.
“We still follow up any new leads we have,” said Mosley, noting the leads are now coming few and far between. “We would love to see it closed but as you can guess, 20 years after the fact, there are just not a lot of new leads.”
Mosley said anyone who has information on the cold case can contact detectives at 473-3386.