Justice Not Always Swift In Cases Like That Of Troy & LaDonna French

6:50 PM, May 1, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- Justice might be blind, but it isn't always swift.

Two families with North Carolina ties know that well. Phylicia Barnes, who was from Charlotte, disappeared in Baltimore in December 2010. Investigators found her body in April 2011, and her sister's former boyfriend was charged in her death last week.

Closer to home, May 4 will mark three months since someone murdered Troy and LaDonna French in their Rockingham County home. There are still blue ribbons up all over the county to serve as reminders that the Frenches deserve justice. But in cases like this, it's not uncommon for justice to be delayed.

"Every day, I, as the sheriff for Rockingham County, drive down the road and see a Carolina blue bow," Sheriff Sam Page said. "[And] I ask this question: 'Will someone be brought to justice today?' And in the evening when I go to bed, that's the last thing I think about."

Outside of Troy and LaDonna's family, there might not be anyone more determined to track down their killer than Sheriff Page.

"We lost a dear family in Rockingham County," he said. "And it's my goal to see that our investigators working for the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office and for the people of this county bring that person or persons to justice for these crimes -- these heinous crimes."

So far, it's taken three months to get what few answers the public has. And it wouldn't surprise former Guilford Co. District Attorney Jim Kimel if it took months longer to get the rest.

"It's not only not uncommon [for cases to take this long]," he said, "it's usually typical."

Just the Cliff's Notes version of what has to go right before charges are drawn up took a while for Kimel to rattle off.

"There's a lot of things that have to be done," he said. "There's search warrants. There's forensic evidence. You've got to wait for the DNA to come back, you've got to wait for the blood to come back. Did you get any fingerprints? Did you talk to all the witnesses?"

Sheriff Page says his investigators are working to get all that right.

"Our goal is to make sure when this case is concluded," Page said, "that our district attorney has everything he or she needs to prosecute this case effectively and bring justice to the family of Troy and LaDonna French."

On top of all that, Sheriff Page says each of his 10 or so investigators handles between 250 and 300 cases each year. So not only are they trying to crack this one, they also have hundreds of other victims they're working to help, too.

WFMY News 2

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