Twenty months after Milton Roosevelt Williams Jr. was shot in the head and left unable to walk, talk or care for himself, his brother, Martis Gibson, wonders why no one has been arrested for the crime.
On Wednesday, Mr. Williams, who turned 19 in March, died at McDuffie County Medical Center in Thomson after spending nearly two years in a vegetative state in nursing homes in Louisville and Thomson.
On Sunday evening, Mr. Gibson, 25, his wife, Shimeka, and family members gathered at the Gibsons' single-story home on Seventh Avenue and tried to cope with their grief.
"We were basically by ourselves," Mr. Gibson said of his younger brother. Their mother was killed in a car accident when Mr. Williams was still a toddler.
Today, the family will bury the young man whose death leaves so many questions.
The shooting took place Feb. 7, 2002, inside the Kent Street home left to Mr. Williams and Mr. Gibson by their grandmother, Nancy Johnson.
Mr. Williams was 17 and a student at T.W. Josey High School. His girlfriend, Arnita Carter, went to the house that morning and banged on the door.
"I heard some stumbling," she said. "He opened the door and sat down."
Her boyfriend looked as though he had been beaten up, and he couldn't speak.
"I was like, 'What's wrong? What happened?"' she said.
She called 911, and he was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital. That was when it was discovered he had been shot.
He stayed in the hospital for nearly two months, but his condition did not improve, his brother said. He could breathe on his own, but that was all. The decision was made to place him into a nursing home, where he languished.
On Wednesday, the bullet that was fired into his brain took his life.
"He gave up fighting," Mr. Gibson said. "His body wore out."
Richmond County Deputy Coroner Grover Tuten said Mr. Williams' death was from complications of a gunshot wound.
Even after all those months, sheriff's officers seem to be no closer to finding out what happened.
Roosevelt Gibson, Mr. Williams' uncle who drove his family from Apopka, Fla., to console his surviving nephew, said he believes authorities could have done more.
"When it first happened, it was in the news. Then, nothing," said Mr. Gibson, 44. "We know that more could have been done. Why now? Now that he's dead? There should have been more interest."
His wife of 24 years, Deborah Gibson, agrees.
"I always felt the follow-up wasn't there," she said. "Like they didn't care enough."
Investigator Bonnie Kalbskopf said Sunday that the case remains unsolved.
According to notes taken by Investigator Scott White, the neighborhood near the shooting scene was canvassed for information, and fliers were placed throughout the area at the time of the shooting.
"There are still no good leads," Investigator Kalbskopf said.
Staff Writer Quandra F. Collins contributed to this article.
Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.