EXCLUSIVE: Unsolved murder of Fort Benning soldier plagues Colum - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

EXCLUSIVE: Unsolved murder of Fort Benning soldier plagues Columbus family


Some say there's no comparing the love of a mother for her child.  One Columbus mother says living a decade not knowing who killed her son is almost unbearable.

The woman spoke exclusively with News Leader 9 about steps she's taking to get justice.

"I feel like people have pushed me around and told me lies about it and all I want to know is the truth," says Annie Whittlesey about the way her son's death has been investigated.

On September 26, 2003, Fort Benning soldier Eric Nelams was gunned down outside his home in the Carpenters Way Subdivision in Phenix City as he headed to work and his family slept inside.

"They timed him. They knew what time he came out to go to work. He came out to crank his truck up to go to work. They were already there and just started shooting," says Whittlesey.

The 32-year-old father's body was found lifeless under the carport. Phenix City investigators say they've questioned several people with no luck cracking the case.

"Basically to my knowledge no there hasn't been a change in the status of the case," Head Investigator Captain Frank Ivey says.

Ivey says there have not been many tips from witnesses in the case.

"We were able to rule out it being a robbery type situation or something like that but we haven't been able to rule out anything else at this point and time."

Whittelsey says she believes someone close to her son took his life.

"I have a good idea of who did this. As a mother I have a sense of what happened. I don't believe friends are friends. Friends are not the friends we think they are," Whittelesy declares.

Captain Ivey proclaims he's not giving up on catching the killer.

"Right now, it's somewhat of a senseless crime and we would like to be able to say yes we were able to bring this person justice," Cpt. Ivey says.

Ten years later, Eric's mother continues to plead to the community for help.

"I want the mothers to speak to their sons and daughters. I'm a mother who lost my son. If you know anything would please come forward," Whittelesy pleads.

Cpt. Ivey says cold cases can be solved; if you have any details about Eric Nelam's murder please call Phenix City police at 334-448-2836.

Including Eric's death, there are 17 unsolved homicides in Phenix City.

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