WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Winston-Salem police say they have had eight murders in the city this year and half of them are still unsolved.
The first murder happened on Jan. 3. The body of 44-year-old Delroy East was found in the trunk of a car parked at his home on Manchester Street. Police say an autopsy later showed that he had died as the result of a gunshot wound.
The second unsolved case is that of 22-year-old Christopher Thompson on March 23. Thompson was found dead beside his car outside of his mother's home on Gilmer Avenue. Police say Thompson had been at a night club earlier in the evening and had stopped at a fast food restaurant on Akron Drive shortly before his death.
"When I came out the door, I asked him I was like 'Well Chris what have you done?' Not knowing that he was already deceased," said his mother, Crystal Thompson. "I can't describe this feeling. And no parent should ever have to go through that."
Unfortunately, Thompson's family is just one of four who don't know who's responsible for the murder of their loved ones. Five days after Thompson's murder, 23-year-old Christopher Jones was also shot and killed. He was found dead on North Cleveland Avenue. Police say that area of Cleveland Avenue usually has heavy foot traffic. They are hoping someone may have seen what happened.
The fourth unsolved murder is that of Tyrahn Elliott. Police say on April 17, someone opened fire on Elliott and a group of men standing behind an apartment on 4th Street. Elliott and another member of the group were shot. The other person survived. Police say this area is also highly trafficked.
"When we first find out we have a homicide, we're in on mode. And we're rollin'," said Catrina Thompson, of the Winston-Salem Police Department. "Regardless of what the victim may have been involved in, the bottom line is, no one deserves to be killed by anyone."
Crystal Thompson wonders if whoever is responsible for her son's death realizes what he or she has done to the Thompson family.
"I have sleepless nights. I don't know if they have sleepless nights, but you, you can't have a heart if you can rest easy at night knowing that you've taken somebody else's life," said Thompson.
Crystal says she can't speak for the other families, but knows that they're feeling some of the same pain she is.
"Sometimes they wish R.I.P. mean return if possible. And I wish that was possible, but, it's not," she said.
FOX8 spoke with the families of two of the other victims, all of whom are pleading with the public to come forward with any information regarding the cases.
Police say even the smallest detail can help break a case wide open. If you know anything about the murders, you are asked to contact Winston-Salem police.