TUSCUMBIA, Ala. — In February of 2020, hearts were shattered when Tuscumbia Police made a devastating discovery on Davis Court. 83-year-old Mary Malone was found murdered inside her home.
Seven months have passed and the Tuscumbia Police Department is still investigating.
Malone’s granddaughter, Toccara Willis said the loss is as much frustrating as it is difficult. “It’s been really tough because she was like, more like a mother to me than a grandmother,” Willis said. “It’s been really difficult because we haven’t been able to get any answers.”
Willis lives in Huntsville and headed towards the Shoals when she got the call. She assumed because of her grandmother’s age, she had died of natural causes.
“By the time I reached Muscle Shoals and I pulled up and all I could see was every police in Tuscumbia and the coroner, I knew something bad happened,” Willis said.
Willis said Malone was well-loved in the community. “Mary was a character,” she said. “A lot of people called her Lil’ Mae. A lot of people know her from her flowers because she had beautiful, beautiful flowers in her front yard for years.”
Willis said with Tuscumbia being such a small town and everyone knowing her grandmother, it seems unlikely that no one knows who’s responsible. She also said she would like to see more locals passionate about this case as they are about cases in other states.
“Everything that’s going on with the Breonna Taylor case, I just felt like, hey, we need to start at home, because it’s very unfortunate what happened to her, but this is someone that we know,” Willis said. “It happened in our own community; it happened right next door.”
In addition to wanting people in the community to speak up, Willis said the family has also had trouble getting in touch with investigators in the case. She said she wants more transparency from the Tuscumbia Police Department because she doesn’t want her grandmother to become another cold case.