Cold Case: Jaye Potter-Mintz
BRUNSWICK COUNTY -- Two decades have passed since a murder so horrific it shook up even veteran police officers. Now, the victim's family is making what could be a final public plea for help finding the killer.
"I can't even explain how bad it's been. I can't explain how bad it was the day I found her, either. It broke my heart," Loren Potter said recently, talking about her murdered daughter, Jaye Potter-Mintz.
Potter walked inside Potter-Mintz's home on Feb. 23, 1987 only to find her youngest daughter's body laying on the bed.
Detectives say someone raped her, slashed her throat and stabbed her repeatedly. Potter-Mintz's then-two-year-old son, Andrew, saw it all and was not hurt.
"All he could tell me is 'Mean man hurt mommy, mommy cry,'" Potter said. "He didn't know she was dead. He thought she was coming back."
Twenty years later, police are still searching for the killer.
Detectives got a break in 2000 when Potter-Mintz's murder made the front page of USA Today. Hundreds of law enforcement officers across the country called, saying they were dealing with a similar murder.
But though several women were murdered in a similar way, no evidence led to the killer, said Sheriff Ron Hewett.
The best hope now is a classified ad Potter-Mintz took out to sell a water bed.
"The exact article was circled, and in her home at the time of this horrific crime," Hewett said. We feel the murderer brought that to her home circled."
Potter says she had horrible nightmares for seven years after her daughter's death.
"Then, I had a dream one night she came to see me, and that was the best dream, I could reach and touch her, it was so real. I quit having nightmares."
But though the nightmares are gone, Potter hopes the killer hasn't also vanished.
Reported by Kacey Gaumer