An ArkLaTex family vows to fight for justice for murdered loved - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

An ArkLaTex family vows to fight for justice for murdered loved one

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NATCHITOCHES, LA (KSLA) -

Desperate and determined for answers, the family of an ArkLaTex man has gone to extreme measures to find answers after their loved one mysteriously died.

It's been four years of pain and suffering but it's also been four years of hope for the family of 47-year-old Lewis Addison.

Addison was found dead in his Natchitoches home in the spring of 2010 of what was then determined at the time to be natural causes, but the sequence of events following his death caused his family become suspicious.

It all started on that spring day in March of 2010. Lewis Addison’s niece, Sharvel Addison, said "I woke up out of my sleep. I just got real real sick. My stomach was just cramping and I said God what's really going on. Something ain’t right, it's just not right."

It was a feeling that something dreadful had happened. Later that day, Sharvel got the phone call. "She said that something had happened to my uncle and he wasn't breathing."

Lewis Addison was dead. His family says Lewis' longtime girlfriend reported she came home after work and found Lewis' lifeless body in the bedroom. For his sister Edna Addison, the images still haunt her.

With tears pouring from her eyes, Edna said, “He was laying on the floor wrapped in a throw, cold, cold. I fell on my knees and I hugged him and I felt him. It was a hurting thing to see your baby brother laying on the floor dead and I had just seen him a couple of days ago waving and smiling at me."

According to a court order obtained by KSLA News 12, when former Natchitoches Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Curtis Jr. got to the house, he determined that Lewis possibly had a heart attack. Curtis did so only after speaking with Lewis' girlfriend. Subsequently, no autopsy was ordered. Addison’s family says Natchitoches police never collected any evidence, and never took any pictures. There was no crime scene. All of these details justdidn'tn’t sit right with the Addison family. Sharvel said, "Because of the knot that was on his head. At the funeral home they wouldn't’t let us back in to see him, and the whole thing was just strange."

Lewis Addison was buried under a cloud of uneasiness. Spring turned to summer, summer to winter and winter turned to fall. The next spring, the Addisons were determined to get answers. On the one year anniversary of Lewis' death, a judge granted the family's wish to exhume Lewis' body and have a private autopsy performed.

"The toughest part is when they opened the coffin and I actually saw what someone looks like after being buried for a year," said Sharvel. "It was hard, very hard." While it was extremely difficult to watch, Sharvel says she had to be there.

Two months later, their worst fears about the autopsy came true. Sharvel says the private pathologist they had hired, Dr. Emil M. Laga, delivered the stunning news. "He told us that, he had a horrible death. He said he was beat to death."

Laga's autopsy report concluded that Lewis' heart showed no signs of a heart attack. KSLA News 12 obtained a copy of the autopsy report, which revealed the cause of death as “probable blunt impact,” and a collapsed lung.

Edna says when she thinks about that day when the family received the news, those horrible memories return. “I have to just pray when I think about it. I just have to fall on my knees and pray to God."

After the autopsy, the Natchitoches Police Department opened a homicide investigation. However, three years later, there have been no hard leads made public by police. The Addisons say there have been no clues and no confessions. They also say Natchitoches police seem to be showing little interest in solving the case. “The expression they give me is like they don’t care. Dead, gone, forgotten about. That's the impression they give me,” said Lewis’ sister, Edna.

After several attempts, KSLA News 12 was able to track down Natchitoches Police Chief Mickey Dove. When asked about the Addison case, Dove would only offer that the case is still open. "Being an active case, I can't comment on what we have,” said Dove. Dove wouldn't say if there wouldn't say whether there is currently an investigator assigned to the case. “It’s an active case,” he repeated.

KSLA News 12 went to an address listed in the name of the woman who found Lewis dead that day and called police. Knocks on the door went unanswered. Hours later, however, a call came into the KSLA newsroom. A woman on the phone asked why someone from KSLA knocked on her door.

When KSLA called the woman back, she answered the phone but then quickly hung up. She didn't answer when KSLA called back again.

Lewis Addison is buried alongside other family members at a cemetery in Natchitoches. Exactly four years after the day he died, the Addisons returned to the cemetery to reaffirm that their fight for justice continues. While he rests, they refuse to. "I just want to say thank you for the memories we have with him and help me to go forward to seek justice for him, because he deserves that," Sharvel prayed next to Lewis' grave.

On that brisk windy day in March, the Addisons released white dove-shaped balloons as a symbol of the peace they hope to bring his soul. "Every time I try to give up, I just see my uncle and he's like, 'Now you know I wouldn’t give up,'" said Sharvel.

Edna said, "God have mercy on their soul. Why - and why? Because I don’t see how they can live with their selves." It's a unique blend of hope and sorrow that yields courage, the courage to carry on as Lewis looks down from above. "You can take your rest because I'm not going to ever give up," Sharvel vows.

The Addisons created a bank account to help offset the costs associated with the case they've dubbed “Justice For Lewis.” Donations can be made at any MidSouth Bank location. Checks should be made out to “Justice For Lewis.” The family says all proceeds go towards attorney fees, advertising, traveling expenses and anything dealing with getting justice for Lewis Addison.

If you have any information on this case contact the Natchitoches Police Department at 318-352-8101. You may remain anonymous.

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