MARSHALL, TX (KSLA) - It's a problem in nearly every city, in every state: Eyewitnesses who are reluctant to come forward to help solve violent crimes.
"Law enforcement works as hard as we can on these cases, but ultimately it takes citizens to come forward with information," says Lt. Patrick Clayton with the Marshall, TX police department.
"People are afraid to testify in court. They don't want to be labeled as a 'snitch' in the community," adds Lt. Clayton.
Dating back to the 1970's, Marshall has 13 unsolved homicides. The murder of Anthony 'Boogie' Thomas is one of them. He was gunned down in June of 2004.
"Oh, if I just knew who did this. I had that get back spirit. I wanted to get the person who killed my brother," remembers Boogie's sister Demetria McFarland. However through the years Demetria turned the anger into hope. She formed Marshall Against Violence.
A frustrated McFarland decided to make a difference. "There are killers walking the streets, but they're willing to sit back and withhold information they have instead of coming forward."
Marshall Against Violence, MAV, works with families of violent crimes with hopes reluctant witnesses will come forward to help solve many of the city's cold cases.
"As long as I have breath in my body, I'm going to fight for homicides to be solved, not just mine, but all of them." McFarland's father was also shot and killed in Marshall back in 1979. His killer was never arrested.