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Aunt of 1996 slaying victim still seeking justice after sister's death

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TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Norma Jowers lived 18 years longer than her only son Todd Jowers, who was shot dead in the parking lot of a Tuscaloosa bar on Oct. 13, 1996.

Not one of those days passed that she didn't think about or mention him, said her sister, Patricia Sanford.

"We'd always talk about him, what his life would have been like or where he would be today if he was alive," Sanford said on Monday, the 18th anniversary of her nephew's death.

The case remains unsolved. Norma Jowers died June 4, never knowing who killed her son or why.

"She's up there in heaven and probably knows who did it now," Sanford said. "We ask that anyone who knows anything to please find it in their heart to come forward so the rest of the family can have some peace of mind."

Jowers, 32, was shot while leaving the now-closed Classics Lounge on 37th Street, where he taught line dancing and sang karaoke. Jowers, who would have turned 50 in May, was a talented singer, his aunt said.

"We believe he would have been in Nashville if he'd lived," she said.

Jowers was walking a woman to her car at about 2:10 a.m. when someone shot him once in the head. Investigators have said that the shooter may have hidden in nearby bushes and later escaped through a wooded area behind the south end of the parking lot. The woman was unable to describe the shooter.

Norma Jowers spoke with The Tuscaloosa News several times in the years following the shooting.

"You get a little tougher, but you've still got that pain and hurt that someone wanted to kill your child," she said in 2009.

Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit Commander Sgt. Dale Phillips said that the case is still being investigated.

"Investigators have recently followed up on leads that have revealed new information," he said. "This investigation remains a priority of this unit."

Sanford said she will continue to speak out and ask the public for help, now that her sister is gone.

"We want everyone to know that we have not forgotten about Todd and to ask anyone who knows to please come forward," she said.


Information from: The Tuscaloosa News, http://www.tuscaloosanews.com

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