BUFFALO, N.Y. — The phone call that Joseph Thomas Sr. had been waiting for since August 2003 finally came this March.
After more than seven years, police had finally solved his son’s murder.
Joseph Thomas Jr.—Joe Joe, to his family—had been shot at close range on the night of Aug. 23, 2003 while hanging out with Louis Brown, a friend who was also killed.
Both men were 19.
From the beginning, detectives handling the homicide had few leads. They ruled out every suspect they investigated. Very quickly, the case went dead.
Still, Joseph Sr. refused to give up hope that police would find Joe Joe’s killer. Mildred Thomas, Joe Joe’s mother, was also persistent, calling the department to inquire about the murder several times each year before she died in 2009.
Soon after the Artvoice article came out, Joseph Sr. said, tipsters came forward with new information that enabled investigators to pinpoint the killer, who has since died.
Buffalo police spokesman Michael DeGeorge did not respond to a request for details on the suspect and motive.
But Joseph Sr. says cold case detectives are confident that they have the right man. In the video above, the father tells us, in his own words, how it feels to finally know—to finally have closure.