OZARK – They talked about Tracie Hawlett’s compassion and the way J.B. Beasley danced.
Some of the people at Thursday night’s prayer vigil on Herring Avenue, where Tracie and J.B., both 17, were found shot to death in the trunk of J.B.’s car on Aug. 1, 1999, had fond memories of the two Northview High School students.
The two friends had headed from Dothan to a party near Midland City and Headland the night before. Tracie called from a pay phone at a convenience store to say they were lost in Ozark but headed home.
The car was found the next day. Both girls had been killed execution style.
No one has been convicted in the double murder that has drawn national attention over the years, but the case is still being worked.
Ozark Police Chief Tony Spivey said his department gets information periodically, and not a day goes by that they don’t talk about the murders.
“I’ve said for 15 years this case is solvable,” the chief said.
He said someone who knows “one little shred of something” can lead to the killer being found. “If we can get that one little push, all the dominoes are going to fall,” Spivey said.
The people at the vigil, held by family and friends of the two girls, have hope that the killer will be found.
“We’re still hoping, praying, ” said Carol Roberts, Tracie’s mother. “I feel like one day it ’ s going to come out. ”
Roberts said both of the girls “were very mature and knew what they wanted, and would have achieved it, too” had they been given the chance.
She said just knowing that authorities are actively working the case gives her the satisfaction she needs.
“One day maybe this will be solved and we will get some justice out of this,” her husband, Mike, said.
Local, state and federal authorities are still pursuing leads. Lab findings or information provided by witnesses could bust the case wide open.
“It’s our commitment as law enforcement to not rest until whoever did this horrible, tragic crime is brought to justice, ” Spivey said.