Daniel McGee's main goal was working to acquire the finer things in life.
The 22-year-old worked two jobs as a bricklayer, and on occasion, found time to play video games often without making a peep, said his mother, Vallery McGee.
"He was so quiet sometimes I wouldn't even know he was in the house," she said.
He cared for his disabled uncle at his Bon Air apartment, and on Dec. 9 Mr. McGee made an early-morning run to the grocery store to pick up soda for his uncle. He never made it home.
About 4 a.m., Mr. McGee was shot in the head on his way back to his uncle's apartment.
"It's just frustrating knowing that a good person can have something like this happen to them," said the mother of three. "He was a good child. He didn't bother anybody."
Even more frustrating for her is not knowing who killed her eldest son.
That mystery remains a rarity in Richmond County, where only two of 2008's 25 homicides remain unsolved.
Richmond County sheriff's Lt. Scott Peebles credits formation of the department's major case squad with some of the success in the cases that were solved.
The group of Richmond County sheriff's deputies volunteer their time investigating homicides around the clock, he said. Still, he said, they need the community's help to be effective.
"We do what we can, but new eyes out there always makes the difference," he said.
Louise Clark is waiting for that difference.
She said she has waited five years for the community or law enforcement to shed light on the killing of her 18-year-old daughter, Natalie Clark. The Augusta State University freshman was suffocated in the back yard of their Hephzibah home while Ms. Clark was on an overnight trip.
"I made a promise to her before I closed her casket," Ms. Clark said Friday. "I promised her I would find who did this. I haven't been able to keep it."
Ms. Clark said it's frustrating to think that her lively child who loved to sing, dance and spend time with friends was robbed of her life.
"I still wonder what her children would be like," Ms. Clark said. "I just tell every mother to never give up. There may still be a way that your child will get justice. Until the case is solved, we never really have closure. And they never rest."
Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or email@example.com.
YOU CAN HELP
If you think you have information that might help solve any of these crimes, call the Richmond County sheriff's Criminal Investigation Department at (706) 821-1020.
UNSOLVED MURDERS SINCE 1973
DEC. 9: Daniel Deyond McGee, 21, was sitting on the curb of Starnes Street with his bike when deputies found him. He had been shot in the head after picking up items from Kroger for his handicapped uncle.
NOV. 21: Robert Lee Smith's bludgeoned body was found in the back yard of his Kent Street home. Mr. Smith, 79, lived alone, and a red bicycle with a basket over the back wheel has been missing since his death.
NOV. 19: Deputies found the body of Jimmy Donnell Quarles behind a vacant house on First Street. The 22-year-old had been shot in the head. Police think the shooting was drug-related.
APRIL 25: Deborah Fortunato Dill, 48, was reported missing from her home in the 2300 block of Woodbine Drive. Police are now investigating the incident as a murder and say her husband, John Dill, is the prime suspect.
JULY 10: Isaiah Randolph Selman's body was found beaten, bound and burned in a field off Old McDuffie Road. Mr. Selman, 28, was last seen at a car wash on Peach Orchard Road. Police think his killing may have been drug-related.
AUG. 25: The body of Catrina Beatrice Evans, 19, was found five days after she had been stabbed several times in her Amsterdam Drive apartment. Her 13-month-old child was found unharmed in the apartment.
SEPT. 11: LaRickey Lee Sanders, 20, was shot at close range in front of his house on Calvary Road. Witnesses say the shooting followed an exchange with a man in an early 1990s model four-door sedan. The suspect is black, with a dark complexion, a full beard and mustache; in his late 30s to late 40s; medium to large build.
NOV. 12: Steve Martin, 31, and Michael Anthony Bogans, 29, were both shot in the chest after a fight at Gunther's Lounge in the 2200 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard. 2004
FEB. 25: Manuel Pantoja's body was found in his mobile home on Milledgeville Road stabbed multiple times. Police think the 82-year-old man might have been robbed and stabbed at the front door of his home.
SEPT. 18: A family member found the body of Robert Lee Dorsey in his Deans Bridge Road apartment. Police say he was stabbed multiple times.
MAY 12: Renardo Newton, 16, was in a fight with a large group of people. Hours later he was shot about a block away from his Old Savannah Road home.
AUG. 15: Yang Kyun Han, 53, was locking up at J.C. Food Store in the 2400 block of Golden Camp Road when a man tried to rob him. Police think Mr. Han pulled out a gun and was shot in the chest.
SEPT. 21: Witnesses heard a gun fire and saw Larry L. Drayton, 15, run from the back of his Bahama Drive apartment and collapse. He is believed to have been with acquaintances when he was shot in the chest.
OCT. 18: Natalie Clark, 18, was found face down in her parents' back yard in Hephzibah. She had been suffocated. Her parents were out of town at the time.
NOV. 17: Bryan Keith Cook, 36, was found strangled at his home in the Olmsted Homes projects.
DEC. 14: Oneal Aldreco Booker, 27, was shot during a home invasion at his Southgate Drive apartment. The incident is believed to be drug-related.
JULY 1: Neighbors said they saw two men in ski masks running from an apartment complex on Skinner Mill Road the same night Sam Lewis, 21, was shot in the chest at his apartment. It is believed Mr. Lewis fought with the men or was robbed.
SEPT. 13: Margaret Herring, 62, was found beaten at her Ulm Road home in Hephzibah. Police think she was the victim of a burglary.
OCT. 22: Danny Minnick, 38, was shot in the head while walking with a woman on Kingston Street. The woman was also injured, and she told police that she and Mr. Minnick were shot by a man in a moving car.
FEB. 6: A body was found behind the Golden Harvest Food Bank warehouse by an employee. The victim was a black male, estimated to be in his late teens or early 20s, 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 151 pounds. He had been shot in the head.
JUNE 1: Shanta White, 22, was shot once in the abdomen at close range while sitting in her car talking on a cell phone in front of her home in the 2200 block of Raleigh Drive. She was eight months' pregnant, and the unborn baby died with her.
MARCH 13: Jason Larry Toomer, 26, was hit in a drive-by shooting in front of his home in the 2400 block of Southgate Drive. He died a half-hour later at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
FEB. 12: Terrence Doggett, 20, was found dead from a gunshot wound to his head at his home in Foxwood Apartments.
NOV. 21: Police found Eugene Crawford, 19, off Conniston Drive near Butler Manor subdivision, shot several times.
DEC. 4: Robert Thurmond, 20, died at Medical College of Georgia Hospital of a gunshot wound suffered two days earlier outside his Brown Lane home by a man who called him "Little Bob'' and chased him.
DEC. 6: Boise Eugene Hankerson, 20, of the 1300 block of Emmitt Street, was killed in a drive-by shooting as he was sitting in his car at a Citgo station at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 15th Street.
FEB. 6: Todd Gerald Winkler, 33, was found in the bathroom of his home in the 3000 block of Mabus Road. He died of a gunshot wound to the head.
FEB. 28: Lena Arkansas Toole, 87, died of a brain hemorrhage after a boy riding a bike tried to snatch her purse in the 1500 block of Whitney Street.
MARCH 18: Phillip Beard, 43, of the 1100 block of 13th Avenue, was shot in the head during a drive-by shooting. A dark-blue or black Oldsmobile Cutlass drove down the street, and shots were fired. A woman and a 19-year-old man also were shot. Drugs were said to be the motive. Charges were dismissed against a man initially charged.
MARCH 30: James Gramling, 20, left his parents' house on his all-terrain vehicle to see a friend and was never seen again. The vehicle was found in a wooded area off Windsor Spring Road covered in blood.
JUNE 6: Albert "Buddy'' Pendrey, 66, died of head wounds that police suspect he suffered in a struggle with burglars. His body was found in a trailer behind Mack's Kuntry Store on Windsor Spring Road.
JULY 13: The body of Delphine Brown, 36, was found beside Laney-Walker Boulevard. She was killed by blows to her head and chest, possibly from being thrown from a car.
JULY 24: The bodies of Ryan Joseph Singh, 21, of the 4200 block of Beckmont Street, and Manuel Bernardo Arroyo, 19, of the 3000 block of Miranda Road, were found in the trunk of a burning car in Warren County, off Otis Jones Road. Both had been shot before the stolen 1979 Buick Regal was burned.
OCT. 30: Ruben Maldonado, 17, was killed in a drive-by shooting in front of his Sparks Avenue home.
FEB. 18: Bridgette Benita Williams, 35, of the 1100 block of Summer Street, was found in a ditch in the 1200 block of New Savannah Road. The mother of five had died of stab wounds.
APRIL 29: The nude body of Michelle D. Walker, 26, of the 1400 block of Channing Court, was found along River Watch Parkway near Alexander Drive. She appeared to have been dragged there after being killed elsewhere.
MAY 10: Thomas H. Cochran, 64, of the 3800 block of Wendell Street, was found near his bait and tackle shop in the 1600 block of Arthern Road. He died of a gunshot to his head, officials said. Police say he was killed May 9, possibly by people he was running off his property for illegal fishing or parking. Robbery did not appear to be a motive.
SEPT. 4: Michael "Connie'' Washington, 20, of the 200 block of Lamar Road, was shot as he walked away from an apartment at the Stonegate complex on Myrtle Drive.
OCT. 17: John Holliday, 68, of Florence Street, was found beaten to death in the 2200 block of Milledgeville Road. He was wearing only socks. His pickup truck was found several days later in the parking lot of the Medical College of Georgia.
FEB. 3: The skeletal remains of Robert Sellars, 26, were found beside Lumpkin Road.
AUG. 1: Henry Sturgis, 42, was found shot on the railroad tracks at Wilkerson Road.
SEPT. 13: Lawrence Barrett, 45, was shot in the back of the head as he returned home to the 2800 block of High Point Court.
OCT. 20: Alvin Harrington, 29, was found shot at Olive Road and Wharton Drive. The shooting is believed to be drug-related.
FEB. 15: Norman Palmer III, 42, was found shot in the 3000 block of Old McDuffie Road. The shooting is believed to be drug-related.
APRIL 10: Leon Ellison, 17, was found shot in the 4400 block of Peach Orchard Road.
APRIL 11: Karen Elizabeth Williams, 36, was found in the back seat of a car in the Daniel Village parking lot. Her body, with multiple stab wounds, was wrapped in a blanket and bound with tape.
APRIL 24: Lowell Marion Henry McCoy, 17, was found shot in the 2300 block of Cumming Road.
SEPT. 10: Edward L. Taplin Jr., 36, was found shot in the 2400 block of Yates Drive.
OCT. 5: DeCarla Lashea Harris, 23, was found stabbed during an apparent robbery in Williamsburg Apartments.
DEC. 16: Ural Dion Beck Jr., 23, was found shot on Gravel Pit Road and New Savannah Road. The shooting is believed to be drug-related.
JAN. 6: Barbara Chivers Lamb Deep, 44, was found dead of a gunshot wound during an apparent robbery in the 1500 block of Central Avenue.
JAN. 9: Melvin Thompson, 35, was found shot at Sunset Avenue and Luckey Street.
FEB. 13: Kent Johnson, 29, was found stabbed to death in a vacant lot on Hall Street.
JUNE 8: Loretta Dukes, 24, was found shot to death in a field off Columbia Nitrogen Road.
JULY 23: Robert Donald Sellars, 26, was found on Lumpkin Road. The cause of death is unknown.
AUG. 27: Julian Hawes, 65, was shot inside his home in the 1800 block of Gordon Highway.
NOV. 30: Jimmy Harper, 62, was found shot to death in the 200 block of East Hancock Drive.
JUNE 17: Michael Frails, 28, was found stabbed on Richmond Hill Road West. The crime is believed to have been drug-related.
AUG. 1: Mary Lizzie Glenn, 69, was found stabbed to death in her 12th Street home.
NOV. 13: Richard Williams, 22, was found shot in the 2000 block of Old Savannah Road.
NOV. 25: William Bentley, 50, was found shot during an apparent robbery in the 300 block of Colorado Street.
JAN. 1: Margaret Pickett, 82, died about two weeks after she was assaulted and robbed in her Turpin Street home. She was taken to the hospital complaining of back pains and died there.
APRIL 2: The partially clothed body of Priscilla Wilson, 21, of the 1400 block of Wrightsboro Road, was found in a backyard on McCauley Street.
MAY 2: Josephine Delores Lawrence, 30, was found shot during an apparent robbery in the 600 block of Cedar Street.
JUNE 26: Kevin Collette, 25, was found shot on U.S. Highway 1 near Fort Gordon. It is believed to have been drug-related.
JULY 9: Eddie Willie Bracy, 35, was found beaten in the 1400 block of Greene Street.
SEPT. 1: Pam D. Hill, 22, was found shot in the 200 block of Magnolia Drive.
SEPT. 6: Dimetria Smith, 3, died three weeks after her maternal grandmother took her to the emergency room to be treated for a blow to the head. The coroner ruled it a homicide. Her killer has not been found.
SEPT. 17: Juanita Johnson, 80, was found bludgeoned in her Gordon Highway home. She had been stabbed, and a plastic bag had been placed over her head.
OCT. 24: Ernest Turner, 61, was found shot in the 1400 block of Roulette Lane.
OCT. 27: Alvin Howard, 19, was shot on Sand Bar Ferry Road.
NOV. 26: Matthew Martin, 61, was shot during an apparent robbery in the 1400 block of O'Keefe Lane.
DEC. 27: Thelma Hankins, 69, was strangled during an apparent robbery in the 900 block of Seventh Street.
AUG. 19: Ray Holmes, 17, of Colonial Drive in Martinez, was shot in the chest as he sat with his girlfriend in a parked pickup truck off Willis Foreman Road.
DEC. 3: Margaree Bridges, 26, of Ellis Street, was strangled in her home.
SEPT. 17: Youssef "Joseph'' Mouna, a native of Syria, was killed in his Mercedes-Benz in the parking lot of Humana (now Doctors) Hospital. He was shot in the face with a .38-caliber handgun.
Dec. 20: Firefighters arrived at 805 Heard Ave. and found the charred body of Cynthia Jo Wozneski, 31. Although it was initially labeled an accidental fire death, medical evidence later showed she had died before the fire started.