What’s in the dark will come to light

Published 10:15 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2024

AHOSKIE – Three years have come and gone and the mental anguish of losing a loved one to a violent crime is still what greets the family of the late Patrice Matthews-Faison every day since Jan. 22, 2021.

Matthews-Faison, formerly of Gates County who lived on Hall Siding Road near Ahoskie, was shot and killed that evening as she sat in a vehicle parked at the old Sunoco gas station located just across the Ahoskie Creek bridge on NC Highway 42 West. That gas station has been closed for a number of years.

She was 38 years old and the mother of three children.

“Not knowing why this happened hurts the most,” said Ariana Matthews, Patrice’s daughter. “I hope whoever did this gets what they deserve.”

“When I’m out and about, I don’t know if I’m talking with someone who did this or someone who has information they’re not sharing,” she added.

Krystal Brooks, Patrice’s sister, said the entire family had their world turned upside down due to this senseless murder.

“Part of the biggest pain is there’s no closure yet,” said Brooks. “What makes that even more difficult is that we know there are people who know something about this murder. If it was their mom, their sister, their family member, wouldn’t they want someone to come forward with information to help solve the case?”

Brooks added without closure, “the world becomes a more dangerous place.”

“The person who killed my sister is still out there. We don’t know what they may do to someone else,” Brooks noted.

Mo Brooks, Krystal’s husband who previously operated a barber school just outside of Ahoskie, pointed out that due to the area’s small size, someone has to know something about the night of Jan. 22, 2021.

“Everybody knows everybody and every thing,” he stressed. “To think that I live in an area that is supposed to be safe because it’s such a small town, I don’t feel comfortable coming here because I don’t know who I’m going to run into. People need to come forward with information about this.”

Krystal Brooks added that no matter how insignificant someone may feel their information may be, it might be the one piece of evidence needed to complete the investigation.

“Nothing is too small to share,” she said. “Each and every little bit helps.”

“What they feel may be insignificant may prove to be the piece that fits perfect into the puzzle,” said Mo Brooks. “Your little piece counts.”

“We want to get this case back out in the media again to see if that will lead to someone sharing bits of information we can put together with what we have thus far to solve this case,” said Ahoskie Police Major Justin Farmer.

Farmer added that despite the passage of three years, this murder case as well as the life of Patrice Matthews-Faison has not been forgotten.

“We think about it each and every day and [Ahoskie Police] Detective [Naomi] Mizelle is still working this case,” he said. “She will continue to work it until we get the answers we need to give the family the closure they deserve.”

Farmer said there wasn’t any more information that the Ahoskie Police can release on this murder at this time.

“That’s because we want to protect the integrity of evidence we have at this point,” he stated. “If we disclose something, that could potentially lead someone to fabricate information, which taints the evidence we have and it becomes harder to work this case.”

Ahoskie Police Chief Michele Garrett said she felt Mizelle has her “heart” in solving this murder.

“She told me that this case will be solved, and I believe that,” Garrett remarked. “Whoever is responsible, just because you haven’t yet been arrested, you’re not off the hook, your day is coming. Everything that’s done in the dark will come to light.”

Garrett stressed to the family not to give up hope.

“Trust until the end; justice will be served,” she said.

SBI Special Agent Colleen Cloutier is assisting the Ahoskie Police on this murder case.

“I can assure you that the Ahoskie Police are working hard to solve this murder,” Cloutier said. “Mrs. Matthews-Faison is not forgotten and I’m here to assist in any way I can.”

Those with information to share about this case are encouraged to contact the Ahoskie Police Department at 252-332-5011.

The North Carolina Governor’s Office is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder.

 

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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