A year ago, 41-year-old Vernon Cox was supposed to go to the store and come back home in Prichard.
His body was found about two weeks after he was reported missing. Police say there was no foul play, but his family says someone has gotten away with murder.
“Whoever did this to him, put him somewhere he wouldn’t be found” remarked Patrice Cox, Vernon’s sister-in-law.
How Vernon Cox’s body ended up in Eight Mile Creek behind the woods in Chickasaw is still a mystery to his family.
“In Jesus name I pray,” said Juanita Cox as she released balloons in prayer this Wednesday at a special vigil.
On the one year anniversary of Cox’s body being found, his family is still looking for answers.
“He was a nice person he was very silly every time you see him he had a smile on his face,” said Iris Rodgers, a family friend.
“He had family that loved him, he was an outgoing person that loved his family,” said Janice Cox, Vernon’s Aunt.
“Anything you asked him to do he was always willing to do it,” said Patrice Cox.
“I miss my daddy dad, I love him and I don’t know how he died,” said Vernon’s son.
Cox’s family remembers him for his spirit, and his welcoming personality. But the community he lived in, Prichard, may remember him for the circumstances of his death.
“A perfectly healthy normal young man does not end up in Eight Mile Creek and no one knows how he got there,” said Patrice Cox.
Cox’s body was found by survey crews in Eight Mile Creek partially submerged in the water. It was badly decomposed.
“Prichard says there were no signs of foul play,” said Patrice.
And so Prichard Police closed the case.
“It was 9/17 2015 at 8:17 pm,” said Janice Cox.
But the night Cox disappeared, his aunt said he was texting her to make plans the next weekend. And about a month before he died, he remarked after hearing of a suicide on TV, that he would never do that.
“Before he came up missing he told me not to let anybody tell me that he killed himself,” said Vernon’s mother.
His friends and family members are convinced he had no reason to end his life. They’re hoping that someone will come forward, and that next year they won’t have to come back asking for help.