After almost six years of pain, Terri Moore just wants to feel better. On Sept. 9, 2005, police found the body of her sister, Jayelynn Jarrett Smith, on East Second Avenue not far from her home on South Avon Street in Gastonia, NC. Smith had been attacked in the head with a blunt object.
Since then, Moore has honored the anniversary of Smith’s death and her birthday each year by creating a memorial on the spot her sister was found.
“Being out there makes me feel a bit better,” said Moore. She placed ribbons and balloons on the site, and lit candles.
But answers would make her feel even better. Smith’s murder remains a cold-case after almost 6 years.
“It’s been hard…not having answers,” Moore said.
Police have made no arrests in connection with Smith’s death.
Detective Michelle Smith, who in charge of the investigation said there was no news to report.
“We don’t have any updates,” she said.
Moore believes the police department’s slow progress is due to her sister’s lifestyle.
Smith was the child of alcoholics and dropped out of school during fourth grade. By 14, she was using drugs. She then turned to prostitution.
“They blame it on my sister’s lifestyle,” she said, “She was a prostitute and did drugs, but she didn’t deserve to be beaten to death.”
Moore described her sister as a “big baby” and said that she was still playing with Barbie dolls, even as she entered adulthood.
She added that her sister was kind and generous.
“She would go hungry to feed someone else,” Moore said.
Smith had three sons, who now live with Moore and their father. Her eldest just graduated from high school.
While a court order forbade Smith from seeing her children, Moore said she always left them treats at their door on their birthdays.
Gastonia Detective Kevin McSwain said Smith’s lifestyle doesn’t make police any less interested in bringing a dangerous killer to justice and giving closure to Smith’s family. McSwain said police still are not certain of a motive for the killing.
“A murder is a murder,” McSwain said. “Sometimes money talks. That’s what it takes to get people to come forward. I’m just hoping someone will do the right thing.”
The Governor’s Office has a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the guilty party. Gastonia’s CrimeStoppers has issued a similar $1,000 reward. The story has also been featured on the “America’s Most Wanted” website.
But none of it has brought forward any answers. Moore said she hopes that her sister’s killer drives past the memorial she erected.
“I’m hoping and praying the right person gets caught,” she said, ““No one deserves to die that way.”
Anyone with information about Smith’s murder should call the Gastonia Police Department at 704-866-6880

3 Responses to “$6,000 MURDER REWARD”
  1. Terrie says:

    Just want to thank everyone who put my sisters story on your website(Jayelynn Smithjarrett.

  2. Terrie says:

    This is my baby sister she’s loved &missed everyday I pray her killer is locked up ASAP…..

  3. Terrie Moore says:

    This is my sister

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