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The Journal Gazette

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Lannie Jones and Fred Teague of South Bend were in Fort Wayne on Tuesday to ask for help in solving the 2008 killing of their son near IPFW.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 1:00 am

South Bend parents still seek answers

Son, 19, slain at party in 2008

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

The scene replays in Lannie Jones' mind all the time.

Her only child, Frederick D. Jones III, a freshman at IPFW, walked out the door at his South Bend home 10 years ago this month, and it was the last time she saw him alive.

The 19-year-old was killed about 2:30 a.m. April 6, 2008, at a party at 3336 Timberhill Drive near the IPFW campus.

Since then, no one has come forward with any information as to why Jones died of a single gunshot wound as other people were ducking and fleeing from the scene.

Jones and her son's father, Fred Teague, also of South Bend, made a plea Tuesday at the Rousseau Centrefor information from anyone who knows who killed their son.

“I haven't lived for 10 years,” Jones said through her sobs.

It's been eight years since Jones has returned to the city where her son died, but this year she decided to attend the annual candlelight vigil Tuesday night at the Allen County Courthouse sponsored by the Fort Wayne Police Department's Victim Assistance.

The vigil is held annually during National Crime Victims' Rights Week and recognizes victims and survivors of violent crimes.

There are no leads in the Jones case, said Garry Hamilton, Fort Wayne deputy police chief in charge of special investigations. Jones might or might not have been the target when the gun went off, Hamilton said.

A brawl broke out between uninvited partygoers, police said at the time, and Jones was shot after an argument erupted among some at the party.

Teague and Jones said someone had to have seen something.

“You can't have any peace,” Teague said as if addressing the shooter. “Your life has to be in turmoil.”

Both Jones and Teague said they were able to forgive the shooter because they are Christian but still want justice and closure.

“Bottom line, we really want to get this guy off the street,” Teague said.

Jones chose to attend IPFW, hoping to be a baseball walk-on. He had offers to play at other schools, his mother said, but picked IPFW, where he was majoring in business.

Students who were at the party were teenagers but now have graduated and dispersed, Jones said. They are living the dream her child wanted, too: a job, a spouse, a family, a life.

Jones was funny and joyful. “He was that one his friends wanted to talk to,” his mother said.

Now, she said, she wants the tears to stop. 

jduffy@jg.net