Cold cases receive new focus


Staff Writer

Monday, August 19, 2019

The Rocky Mount Police Department is offering new cash rewards for information about two cold cases it is hoping to solve.

Sgt. Brad Summerlin said the Cold Case Squad is currently focusing on these investigations and is hoping to gather more leads by offering the cash rewards.

One of the cases is more than 28 years old. Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects responsible for the homicide of Cheryl Denise Watson. The homicide occurred on April 10, 1991, at 761 East Raleigh Road, according to a flyer issued by the police department this week announcing the cash award.

In a September 2016 Telegram report, Geraldine Watson, the mother of the victim, pleaded for someone to come forward with information that would give her closure about her daughter’s death.

Cheryl Watson, 25, was working as a finish inspector with Texfi and was pursuing her general education diploma at the time of her death. She was last seen alive by one of her coworkers at a convenience store about 8:30 p.m. on that fateful evening. Her Nissan was late found at Eastern Avenue Park near the Pineview Cemetery.

Early in the morning of April 11, 1991, Watson’s half-nude body was discovered face down on Lot 30 of the cemetery. Her head was positioned next to her murder weapon — a bloody tombstone. Her autopsy revealed that she died brutally of blunt force trauma to the head.

Police had a suspect in the case but never had sufficient evidence to bring the case to trial. Now, the Cold Case Squad is taking another close look at the case.

“I think about her all the time,” Geraldine Watson said in the 2016 interview. “Whoever knows who killed my daughter has waited long enough to say something.”

Former police Cpl. Mike Lewis, a spokesman at that time for the Rocky Mount Police Department, said he felt the case was very solvable.

“Someone knows who did this. A lot of years have passed.” Lewis said in the earlier interview. “There’s a grieving family that deserves some closure.”

Police also are offering a $5,000 reward for information concerning the death of Glyn Junior Jenkins, who was killed on Jan. 10, 2015. He was found dead of a gunshot wound on the 600 block of Cascade Avenue.

Jenkins, who also was known as “DreadHead,” according to his Facebook profile, was 29 at the time of his death.

Anyone with information about either of these homicides should contact Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111 or at crimestoppers@rockymountnc.gov. The department can also be contacted by sending a text to RMPOL and a message to CRIMES.

The lead investigator on these cases is Detective J.A. Talley. He can be reached at 252-972-1462 or at Joshua.talley@rockymountnc.gov.

The case supervisor for these cases is Sgt. T. Bunt. He may be contacted at 252-972-1486 or at timothy.bunt@rockymountnc.gov.