By Anne Marshall
(LOUISVILLE) -- Jason Dunford, a man police called a "person of interest" in the 1999 murder of Jessica Dishon, was killed in a car crash in Butler County earlier this week. Dishon was found beaten and strangled seven miles from her home a few days after she disappeared from her yard, and several witnesses reported seeing her with Dunford and another man the night she disappeared. WAVE 3's Anne Marshall reports.
In seven years' time, the only conclusion is that more time may finally bring closure. "I do believe at some point it will be solved, whether it's next week or next year or two years, but I do believe it will be solved," says Bullitt County Sheriff's Detective Scotty McGaha.
McGaha found out about Dunford's unfortunate death Tuesday and says it will not halt his investigation.
Dunford was named as a person of interest in the case after several witnesses reported seeing 17-year-old Jessica Dishon with him and another man in Dunford's black Camaro the night she disappeared.
McGaha says while the 26-year-old always maintained his innocence, he was never forthcoming with details about that night. "I've personally talked to him several times myself but he wouldn't ever really tell you a whole lot."
Dunford had a criminal history. In Bullitt County, he faced charges of wanton endangerment and drug charges. He was due in Jefferson County court Monday for cocaine possession, loitering and tampering with evidence. But he's never been formally charged in relation to Dishon's death due to lack of evidence.
Meanwhile, the man originally thought to be Dishon's killer, David "Bucky" Brooks had charges dropped due to a mistrial, so the Dishon case remains open with few answers.
Says McGaha: "We continue to receive tips weekly, about two a week. And each one is followed up on."
Jessica's family still grapples with one tough question -- when will it all end. Last April, Edna Dishon, Jessica's mother told WAVE 3: "I'm hoping they can still get the guy who done it because that's the bottom line. Don't do it for me or Mike (Jessica's father). Do it for Jessica."
Dunford leaves behind a wife and two daughters.
If you have any information on Jessica Dishon's death, call the Bullitt County Sheriff's Department.
Online Reporter: Anne Marshall