Cold case: Daughter determined to find mother’s killer in decades-old Des Moines murder

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DES MOINES, Iowa — For 34 years Rashawnda Hines has felt pain. “It’s a struggle. You go through life wondering what it could have been like. You see other people with their’s and there’s an emptiness you just can’t get right with it,” said Hines.

When Rashawnda was just four years old her mother Jamedia Hines, then just 22-years-old with three kids, was found murdered near 1700 Oakland Avenue in Des Moines on September 5th, 1987. “There was definitely violence involved. The autopsy confirmed she had been strangled and beaten to death,” said Des Moines Police Department Sergeant Paul Parizek.

Police scoured the scene for hours but in that era, technology was not what it is today and the case remains unsolved. “Those crimes that happened back then we weren’t able to examine shell casings and connect them to guns. We weren’t able to examine DNA to the extent we can today,” Parizek said.\

Reopening the 500-page case file also opens wounds that have never healed for the Hines family but Rashawnda knows it could bring closure. “All kinds of feelings. Overwhelming, scared, just ready to go,” said Hines.

Investigators say they’ve never seen a loved one more persistent at finding justice. Parizek said, “She’s a very strong woman but she definitely needs the community’s help, and if you think you know something get a hold of us.”

The long odds are no roadblock for police.”Don’t let people think they got away with something,” Parizek said.

Even the smallest piece of information could lead to filling a large void in Rashawnda’s life. She said, “I just want everyone to remember her name. Jamedia Hines. Justice please.”

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