12 Years After an Ohio Mom Was Murdered in Front of Her Toddler, Police Still Have No Answers

On Dec. 2, 2010, Alicia Jackson was found stabbed more than 30 times in her Columbus, Ohio, apartment

Alicia Jackson, 25, was the type of doting mother who kept stacks of books about prenatal care, child rearing and parenting.

Her 2-year-old son, Jeremiah, affectionately known as Juju, was the "apple of his mother's eye," says her cousin Shauntay. The proud mom loved showing her son off at church on Sundays and dressing him in the scarlet and gray colors of her alma mater, Ohio State University.

"She was so excited when Juju was hitting all his milestones," says Shauntay in this week's issue of PEOPLE. "You could tell the excitement, 'Oh, Juju started this.' You could feel the love."

All of which makes what happened to Alicia even more unimaginable.

On Dec. 2, 2010, Alicia's live-in boyfriend, Eugene Wilson, came home to the couple's Columbus apartment to find Alicia viciously stabbed more than 30 times in the neck, face and chest. Jeremiah was sitting unharmed in his highchair nearby, presumably a witness to his mother's gruesome slaying.

"The fact that somebody did this in front of her child and left a child there, unattended," says Columbus Police Department homicide detective James Porter, "is scary in so many different ways."

Crime scene outside Alicia Jackson's house where she was found stabbed multiple times
The crime scene outside Alicia Jackson's house, where she was found stabbed to death. WBNS-10TV

Despite an extensive investigation that included testing crime scene evidence and questioning persons of interest, the case is still unsolved nearly 12 years later.

"If the right person gives us the right information, then yes, it can be solved," says Porter. "I'm keeping my fingers crossed."

But who would have wanted the young mother dead?

Alicia seemed to have the perfect life. Raised in Kentucky, her father moved the family to Pennsylvania when she was 15, where she attended Central Dauphin East High School in Harrisburg. While there, she started a step dance program, and as a senior was voted homecoming queen.

Alicia Jackson in 2010
Alicia Jackson. Courtesy Shauntay Jackson

"She became very popular and not in a fake sense," says high school friend Renee Higgins. "She was funny, she was smart, she was kind. It was hard not to gravitate towards her."

After receiving a master's degree in city and regional planning at Ohio State University, she got a job as a research associate at a nonprofit organization. In the fall of 2010, she announced that she and her family were moving to Dallas.

"We talked a lot about them moving to Dallas together," says close friend Rebecca Covington Webber. "She was really looking forward to that chapter of their lives."

That chapter would never begin.

'This Was 100% Personal'

On the day of her death, Alicia had left early from her job, picked up Juju from his babysitter and had gotten home by 5:30 p.m. before she was attacked.

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It was Eugene who called authorities when he arrived home at 9 p.m. The killer apparently took two laptops and her phone while leaving her purse and wallet, so police don't suspect robbery was the motive.

Alicia Jackson stabbed in her home on December 2, 2010, case unsolved
Eugene Wilson and Alicia Jackson with her son, Jeremiah. Courtesy Shauntay Jackson

"It looks like she probably knew whoever it was," Porter says. "Somebody who had a conflict with her of some kind."

"She was cautious," says her younger brother Trevin, 33. "It would be very unlikely for her to see somebody at the door that she doesn't know and let them in the house with her toddler son there while she was feeding. There is a 0% chance that would happen."

"This was 100 percent personal," Trevin adds. "This was a feeling that was unbeknownst to my sister, that this person really felt this way, until this person took her life."

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Police found no signs of forced entry. Neighbors heard no disturbance despite the violent scene and blood-spattered living room.

There were no surveillance cameras that could provide any clues.

Crime scene evidence was tested but "nothing that has been turned in, nothing we collected has led to a suspect," says Porter.

Police said Eugene cooperated fully with authorities and his whereabouts at the time of Alicia's murder were accounted for. Police say he is not a suspect.

Porter says he's awaiting just one tip, a "magic phone call" that could break the case. "If the right information comes in, we'll know what to do with it," he says.

Meanwhile, Shauntay says she will never stop fighting for justice, especially for Jeremiah. "I have to do this, not just for Alicia, but for Juju," she says. "Her son should know she didn't deserve what happened to her, and she didn't bring that on herself."

If you have any information on this case, contact the Columbus police at 614-645-4036.

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