Neighbors of victim react to TBI cold case murder reward

LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. -- Hosea "Junior" Prince, 79, chose to live on a quiet ​backcountry road in Lincoln County.

"He was a good guy. I believe he would do anything for you," said neighbor Phila Groce.

That's why even eleven years later, it's difficult for neighbors to understand why anyone would want him dead.

It's a mystery that particularly bothers Groce because the night Prince was killed, her family and friends were only a football field's distance away having a Memorial Day party.

"We were all out here and then we woke up later the next morning to hear that he'd been killed and we didn't know how," Groce explained.

She said a man hired to paint the elderly man's house found him in the bushes beside the home.

"This was really out of the ordinary, to know that someone was murdered real close," Groce said.

She is glad to hear that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is now offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest for Prince's death. Groce, along with other neighbors, hope the reward will lure someone to do the right thing.

"It's very important to us that we have somebody that is responsible in custody for this homicide," said Susan Niland, TBI spokesperson.

Niland said it only takes one tip to break a case wide open. The agency is hopeful the upcoming holiday weekend will spark the memory of someone with knowledge.

"We are very serious about wanting to find information. If anyone has any information either that they didn't realize might have been important or information from the beginning that now they want to bring forward, we really want to get that information and look into it because we do want to solve this crime," Nilnd said.

If you have a tip call Lincoln County CrimeStoppers at (931) 433-STOP. ​