BOONVILLE, MO - Jamar Jenkins has not lived a picture perfect. Currently in prison for selling drugs, his life took a tragic turn in 1977 when his mother Mary Ann was murdered. Jamar was just four years old.
“I remember the detectives and me not having an understanding of what was going on back then, but now realizing that`s what it was. They were telling my aunt and uncle that they found her. I remember them crying and 'take him upstairs,' moving me out of the way so I couldn`t see what was going on. You know, protecting me from that.” said Jamar Jenkins
Police found Mary Ann Jenkins body in East St.Louis, but never found her killer. More than 40 years later, a potential break in the case. Fox 2’s Mike Colombo has learned the Illinois State Police are investigating serial killer Samuel Little’s possible connection to local cold case murders from the 1970s.
Little has confessed to 90 murders across the country so far, including at least two in the St.Louis area. In the fall of 2018, a pair of Illinois State Police investigators interviewed Little. Authorities say Little shared details and a sketch he drew of a woman he admitted to killing in East St.Louis. Information police believe may connect Little to Mary Ann Jenkins death.
"We want answers and we`re possibly going to get answers now. Somebody`s going to pay...finally for what happened to her," said Jenkins.
Having spent most of his adult life in and out of prison, Jenkins wonders how much different things might have been had his mother not been taken from him at such a young age.
“After high school, I got off into gangs and drug dealing. Prison. In and out. It`s been a rollercoaster ride. I could`ve done something different. But it was like the love I got from the homeboys in the neighborhood was something that I held dearly and was loyal to. It took me under and I got caught up in it," said Jenkins.
Jenkins turns 46 in April and is scheduled to get out of prison in 2020. He believes finding his mother’s killer would not only put the finishing touches on a painful part of his life but give him a blank canvas for the future.
“Would confirmation he (Little) committed this crime bring peace to your life?” asked Colombo. “'Yes. Very much so. Very much so. The death penalty or anything is too good for him. Let him live the rest of his days out in jail. In prison. Ain`t nothing worse than this,” said Jenkins.