Unsolved 2008 murder leaves grief unhealed
Fall weather was just settling in on this date five years ago, a Friday. Eddie Greene Jr. had just knocked off work from the business he owned, Eddie's Masonry, which he ran from a trailer on his mother's property on Petra Mill Road in southern Caldwell County.
The world was Greene's oyster. He was 26 and had just made the first payment on a new house he built off Grace Chapel Road, a house he was to share with his fiancee, Melody Wilson.
But after he left work that Oct. 3, things went wrong.
"I called around 6 p.m. to ask him to go out to eat with us," said Wilma Yount, his mother. "I never got a call back. I kept trying to call, but no answer.
"Finally, around 12:30 to 1 a.m. Saturday, I called his phone and someone answered, then the phone went dead."
A missing person's report was filed with the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office. But Greene was not in Caldwell County.
No one knows why he would have been in Longview that evening at 6:15 p.m., about the time people recalled hearing gunshots. Around 8:30 that night, a Longview resident named Ronald Cooper found Greene's white 2001 Chevrolet work van parked at some apartments off First Avenue with the motor still idling. A body was slumped over in the driver's seat, with one leg sticking outside the driver's side door, which was left open.
At 3:30 a.m. Saturday, Longview police called Greene's sister, Stacy Igo, and said Greene was found dead from two gunshot wounds to the head.
Five years later, Longview police still are revealing few details about the case. Sgt. Scott Pitts said officers and the State Bureau of Investigation are actively working leads, including one received as recently as last week, and there are several people they are investigating.
"I think it is possible we will solve this case. It's just a matter of getting more information and we're there," Pitts said.
"It was a beautiful day, so I would think a lot of people were out and about," Wilson said. "But it seems like the entire town of Longview went blind for a couple hours."
As law enforcement tries to close the 5-year-old case, Greene's family struggles to find closure. Eddie Greene's sister Melinda Greene, 32, was close to him in age, and he was the glue that held her close to the family, Igo said. The family has lost contact with Melinda Greene since his death. Yount last spoke with her about four years ago. She continued to send birthday and Christmas cards and gifts to Melinda Greene's workplace, Aaron's Lease To Own in Lenoir, but was told last year that Greene no longer worked there.
"One-hundred percent of this had to do with Eddie's death," Yount said. "We're just not the same family any more."
"This whole ordeal has changed our family," Igo, 34, said. "Mom is lost without Eddie. "There's times she just sits and cries. She doesn't know what to do. She wants to know who could have done this, or why. She keeps his bedroom like he left it that morning."
Wilson, Greene's former fiancee, feels the void of the family life that could have been. "My daughter and I miss Eddie every day," Wilson said. "My daughter was 12 when Eddie was murdered. She loved Eddie to death, and he loved her even more.
"Today she is a high school senior. She deserved to have him around so he could teach her how to drive a car and send her to prom.
"We still struggle some days but we have picked up the pieces of our life and have started moving forward. Some days are more difficult than others because I think of the plans we had together as a family and how our plans were stripped from us. Both Eddie and the entire family have been cheated by his life being cut too short. A wonderful man was taken from this world, and we just want to know why."
Yount also remains hopeful she will find out the truth about who killed her son and why.
"We have no closure for this senseless crime," she said. "Eddie knows I will not let this go. I know it won't bring him back, but it will bring me peace to know who hurt him.
"I think it will be solved."
A $10,000 reward has been issued for information leading to an arrest and conviction in Greene's killing. Anyone with information is asked to call the SBI at 828-294-2226 or Longview police at 828-327-2343.