30-year-old Cape Girardeau County homicide mystery - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

30-year-old Cape Girardeau County homicide mystery

Deborah's family releases balloons and lanterns in her memory. Deborah's family releases balloons and lanterns in her memory.
CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

It is a mystery that continues to hover over Cape Girardeau County.

30 years ago, Deborah Manning was brutally stabbed and left to die along a county road.

Her family believes the killer, or killers are still out there.

"It was pretty bad, overkill, senseless, and brutal," said Amanda Manning.

It's a nightmare that still haunts Amanda Manning.

Her mother was brutally murdered on July 4, 1983.

"It disgusts me because nothing has been done about it," said Manning. "It doesn't seem like it receives enough attention."

In 1983, Amanda was just five years old.

Memories from that July 4th night are just a fog.

"I remember we were shooting off fireworks," said Manning.

Debbie Manning reportedly walked away from the family celebration in Cape that night.

She was last seen in the area of Bloomfield and Kingshighway.

It's possible she stopped in the Candlewick bar, which was most recently named Daytimers.

Just after midnight, Deborah Manning's body was found.

"She was found in the dark of night on a lonely gravel road in the middle of nowhere," said Lt. David James.

The location was on county road 249 not far from Chaffee.

"She had been violently assaulted," said Lt. James. "She had upwards of 30 injuries to her body, throat cut and stab wounds. It was brutal and violent."

She was nude, and her clothing was scattered throughout the area.

Results of a sexual assault test have never been made public.

Manning's body was discovered by an off duty Chaffee police officer.

The sheriff at the time decided not to activate the Major Case Squad, he reportedly felt it would be solved right away.

Three decades later, and still no answers.

 "30 years is too long," said Amanda Manning.

 Now a grown woman with a child of her own, Amanda Manning is desperate.

"I need closure," said Manning.

 She clings tight to the few mementos she still has, including a teddy bear given to her by her mother when she was three, and a framed picture of her mother.

Amanda is grateful for the father who raised her, and her two brothers.

However, she feels robbed of a relationship with a mother.

"I was the only girl, my dad raised me to be a woman but it would have been nice to have a mom do things that dad did for me," said Manning.

Now every Fourth of July brings back painful memories of the past.

"It's a sad time," said Manning.

 Lt. David James with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Office was a reserve officer when Deborah Manning was killed.

He remembers it well, and now hopes to connect the dots and solve the decades old mystery.

"Sometimes time is a good thing," said Lt. James. "Time can heal, and can cause people to start thinking that now's a good time to say something."

 He says potential witnesses may hear from him soon.

"We're planning to do interviews this summer and try and spark interest in it again," said Lt. James.

 It is possible the killer or killers are still in the area, and someone...somewhere knows something.

 "We need people to come forward with information...anything," said Amanda Manning. "Please help us find the person who killed our mother."

Amanda Manning is currently pushing to get her mother's story shown on a national level.

She believes it is possible someone beyond the Heartland may be able to help piece this puzzle together.

Wednesday night some close family and friends gathered to release lanterns and balloons into the sky in memory of Debbie on this very solemn 30 year anniversary.

Copyright KFVS 2013. All Rights Reserved.

  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • First Alert: Warm evening, not as muggy

    First Alert: Warm evening, not as muggy

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 10:14 PM EDT2018-05-24 02:14:10 GMT
    Sunrise over Lake Girardeau (Source: Rob Foote/KFVS)Sunrise over Lake Girardeau (Source: Rob Foote/KFVS)

    Temperatures will be warm this evening, but it will not be as muggy.

    Temperatures will be warm this evening, but it will not be as muggy.

  • Bird's nest fire, down power line caused electrical fires at Cape Girardeau businesses

    Bird's nest fire, down power line caused electrical fires at Cape Girardeau businesses

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:23 PM EDT2018-05-24 01:23:48 GMT
    Fire officials responded to electrical fires in Cape Girardeu (Source: Don Frazier, KFVS)Fire officials responded to electrical fires in Cape Girardeu (Source: Don Frazier, KFVS)

    According to an Ameren spokesman, a bird's nest on a pole caught on fire leading to a downed power line on Route K around 10 a.m.

    According to an Ameren spokesman, a bird's nest on a pole caught on fire leading to a downed power line on Route K around 10 a.m.

  • 2 wanted after iPhone stolen at Marion Steak 'n Shake

    2 wanted after iPhone stolen at Marion Steak 'n Shake

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 8:39 PM EDT2018-05-24 00:39:20 GMT
    The Marion Police Department is asking for help identifying two females in the Steak and Shake who reportedly took an iPhone from the restaurant. (Source: Marion PD, Surveillance Video)The Marion Police Department is asking for help identifying two females in the Steak and Shake who reportedly took an iPhone from the restaurant. (Source: Marion PD, Surveillance Video)
    The Marion Police Department is asking for help identifying two females in the Steak and Shake who reportedly took an iPhone from the restaurant. (Source: Marion PD, Surveillance Video)The Marion Police Department is asking for help identifying two females in the Steak and Shake who reportedly took an iPhone from the restaurant. (Source: Marion PD, Surveillance Video)

    The Marion Police Department is asking for help identifying two females in the Steak and Shake who reportedly took an iPhone from the restaurant. 

    The Marion Police Department is asking for help identifying two females in the Steak and Shake who reportedly took an iPhone from the restaurant. 

Powered by Frankly