One year after woman was shot to death in Plaza Midwood, police have few answers

One year after a 26-year-old woman was shot and killed while walking home from a night out with friends in Plaza Midwood, no one has been arrested, and detectives are still searching for answers.

Katherine “Kétie” Memory Jones was found dead in the parking lot of Berryhill Realty Co., on the corner of The Plaza and Hamorton Place, just before 3 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2016. The shooting was Plaza Midwood’s first homicide since the summer of 2013, records show.

On Monday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Deputy Chief Jeff Estes repeatedly called the case “wide open.” Police aren’t sure whether she knew the person who shot her, Estes said, and they’re still hoping someone will come forward with information.

“All I need is one good (lead), and that’s the one that we’re asking for today,” he said.

Estes said the investigation is still ongoing, and people are still reaching out with tips. He said he couldn’t name any suspects or people of interest on Monday.

Jones worked as a waitress at Midwood Smokehouse, a few blocks from where she died. Her friends and family said she was a free spirit who loved art, theater and animals.

She attended high school in Charlotte, graduating from Providence High School in 2008. Friends from that time recalled how she once rescued a baby squirrel, fed it and brought it to school in her pocket.

CMPD spokesman Rob Tufano said Jones’ mother Jevona Livingston, who lives near Asheville, has stayed highly involved with the investigation.

On Facebook, Livingston has shared some updates, including a set of playing cards she received in the mail in June. The playing cards had the Crime Stoppers logo and phone number on one side and photos of victims of unsolved homicides, including Jones, on the other.

According to a letter from CMPD Capt. Cecil Brisbon enclosed with the cards, the decks were distributed in Mecklenburg County Jail to try to reach any inmates who might know something about the case. He said inmates could reach out anonymously, even from jail.

Livingston said she hoped the cards might bring answers. On the anniversary of Jones’ death Sunday, she posted an emotional message on Facebook.

“I want justice for Katie but what I truly want I can’t have,” she wrote. “Her back in my arms... She was my bestie, my confidant, my first daughter. She did things I always wanted to but never had the strength.”

After Jones was killed, her family and friends raised more than $27,000 for the Ketie Memory Jones Memorial Arts Award at UNC-Charlotte. The scholarship is aimed at CMS students interested in art, dance, music or theater.

In addition to this case, CMPD is investigating 17 other unsolved homicides from 2016. So far in 2017, 28 homicides are unsolved.

Anyone with information on Jones’ death or any ongoing investigation should call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. A reward is still being offered for information that leads to an arrest, police said.

Jane Wester: 704-358-5128, @janewester