NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Today marks the nineteenth anniversary of an unsolved murder case in New Hanover County.
Detectives believe Kathleen Cotton, 68, was killed on July 3, 1999 at her home on Middle Sound Loop Road.
On July 21, 1999, a neighbor noticed Cotton, who was an avid gardener, hadn't been out in her yard in a while and went to the home to check on her.
He founds signs of a struggle and called 911.
When sheriff's deputies arrived, they found Cotton's body in her bathtub.
From the stack of papers and an open TV Guide, detectives determined she was likely killed on July 3.
An autopsy showed she was badly beaten and died of blunt force trauma. Detectives think the motive for her killing was robbery, with money, her purse and her car missing from the home.
The 1992 Honda Civic was later found in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The man who had the car said he took it from the Sunset Lodge on Market Street and that he found it with its keys inside.
Detectives said he was not a suspect.
Detectives looked at a few people who Cotton hired for handy work at her home as possible suspects, but the case grew cold.
In 2004, WECT interviewed Cotton's daughter, who never had the chance to meet her mother because of the murder.