Police looking to crack Reidsville homicide nearly 25 years later

REIDSVILLE, N.C. -- Near the corner of Hall and Harris Streets in Reidsville, a mystery lingers.

“You can't but help get a desperate feeling when you drive past it and you look at it and you say, 'That's one I didn't do, yet. That's one that still needs to be worked on,’” says Mike Wilson.

He was the State Bureau of Investigation agent sent to Edward Ware’s house on May 7, 1994.

What he found that Saturday was a brutal murder scene. Someone bludgeoned Mr. Ware with his own axe, right in his living room. And, for nearly a quarter-century now, the police have been looking for his killer.

“In those type of cases, it never stops,” says Shannon Coates, who came onto the Reidsville Police Department a few months after the murder and is now the department’s lead detective for the Ware case. “So you go home and you're thinking about it. What can I do next? What do I need to do, next? Who do we need to talk to, next? And it's just constantly in your mind.”

Wilson retired a few years back, but thanks to a new grant, he is able to return to work on special, cold cases. Typically, they are murder cases that are at least three years old.

“This is kind of like a second chance for me to make right on anything I did wrong,” says Wilson.

He pours over all the case materials he helped collect back in the ‘90s.

“If you want to prove somebody did something, try to prove they didn't do it. Do everything you can to prove they didn't do it and if it still comes back to the same person, you've probably got the right person,” he says of the process. “We have several people we are interested in looking at and we continue to look at.”

Mr. Ware would be 86 if he were still alive. And detectives Wilson and Coates are determined to find whoever killed him in time for his remaining family to have some solace in the crime being solved.

“With time and perseverance, we'll be able to solve it,” promises Coates.

See more on this mystery in this edition of the Buckley Report and if you have any information that can help the police solve it, please call (336) 347-2338.