Police search county lake for cold case evidence
by James Phillips
Apr 26, 2011 | 7325 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bill Manasco and Frank Cole of the Walker County District Attorney’s Office, speak with Smith Lake Task Force diver Tim Stockman as law enforcement officials search Walker County Lake for evidence from a 2007 murder. Photo by: James Phillips
Bill Manasco and Frank Cole of the Walker County District Attorney’s Office, speak with Smith Lake Task Force diver Tim Stockman as law enforcement officials search Walker County Lake for evidence from a 2007 murder. Photo by: James Phillips
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Representatives from several Walker County law enforcement agencies spent time Monday searching the Walker County Lake for evidence associated with an unsolved 2007 murder.

Investigators with the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, the Walker County District Attorney’s Office and the Jasper Police Department worked with members of the Walker County Coroner’s Office and divers from the Smith Lake Task Force to search the area.

Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair said the search was an attempt to retrieve evidence on a local cold case.

“We are continuing our plan to try and bring justice to some of our unsolved cases in Walker County,” Adair said. “We have several cold cases that investigators are currently working on, and this particular one is at the forefront.”

Adair did not say which cold case the search was linked to and did not release if evidence was found during the more than four-hour search Monday.

Walker County Sheriff John Mark Tirey confirmed the search was related to the November 2007 murder of 21-year-old Essence Duncan of Jasper.

“This was to find evidence in the Essence Duncan murder case,” he said. “We had several local agencies all cooperating with each other in order to try to help solve this tragic murder.”

Duncan, a mother of three, was reported missing on Nov. 27, 2007. Three weeks after her disappearance, her body was found floating in the Walker County Lake. At that time, local police turned the missing person’s case into a homicide investigation.

Anyone with information regarding Duncan’s murder is urged to contact the Walker County Sheriff’s Office at 205-302-6464, the Walker County District Attorney’s Office at 205-384-7272 or the Jasper Police Department at 205-221-2121.