Cold case: Leads run dry in Huntsville murder case

Updated: Jul. 23, 2019 at 10:55 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A homicide case has grown gone cold.

Dwayne Cook was murdered one year ago, on July 23, 2018. His friends and family are pleading for information to help catch the person, or persons, who killed him.

WAFF 48 News is partnering with Huntsville Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit to shed light on cases that remain unsolved. The mystery behind the murder of a popular cab driver is the focus of this cold case investigation.

"We called each other at the beginning of his shift or at the end of my shift. We called each other, "Hey anything going? Anything I need to know, you know? said American Cab driver Beverly Robinson.

Beverly Robinson shared cab number seven with Cook. The two met six years ago while working as taxi drivers for American Cab Co. in Huntsville.

“Dwayne and I was partners. We drove the same cab. I drove in the day and he drove it at night,” said Robinson.

Robinson and Cook became fast friends. She said she was instantly drawn to his friendliness and drive for the job.

“Never seemed to have a bad day. Always eager and positive to come to work. He loved his job,” said Robinson.

Cook shared a passion for people with Dennis Williams, known as “Cowboy” to his friends and co-workers. “Cowboy” is a cab driver too. He and Cook often hung out together after work.

“He was a super duper guy,” said Williams. “He loved it. He looked forward to coming in because he had so many ‘specials.’ That means people has depended on him for a while to pick him up from work, go home, stuff like that."

Then one day, everything changed. This popular cab driver who loved his job didn’t show up for his shift. That was July 23, 2018.

“It was actually his employer that found him. He was very responsible. Came to work on a regular basis,” said Huntsville police detective Josh Vogel.

Cook was found murdered, shot to death inside his home at the dead end of Troy Swaysey Boulevard in southwest Huntsville. The 46-year-old cab driver was Huntsville’s 17th homicide of 2018. Vogel, a detective with Huntsville Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit caught the case.

“This doesn’t appear to be a random act of violence. We believe the culprit knew the victim personally,” said Vogel.

Vogel has poured hundreds of man hours into working to track down leads, making calls, relying on digital forensics and turning to social media for help. Every lead, every shred of evidence labeled, documented and field in this blue binder to mark a trail that’s now gone cold. Vogel knows the “truth is out there” somewhere.

“From the very front we didn’t have a lot of leads in this case. There were no witnesses. We canvassed the neighborhood, spoke to neighbors. Nobody witnessed any activity. So there really wasn’t much to go on,” said Vogel.

That’s where you come into the story. Somebody has the clue or clues that can unlock this murder mystery. Even if it’s the smallest piece of information it could be the key to cracking the case and bringing justice to a man who’s friends say didn’t deserve to die.

“It makes you so much angrier because it’s not closed yet. I hope they find out who done it. Dwayne deserves that. Absolutely," said Williams.

“It’s been rough because you know I remember him a lot. I just miss him. I miss him. I do,” said Robinson.

Major Crimes is hoping by refocusing attention to Cook’s case it will bring closure to one of many cold case files still open.

If you have any information that can help solve this crime call Crime Stoppers at 53-Crime.

You could earn a reward for information leading to an arrest.

Our Cold Case Investigation is a new effort with Huntsville Police Department.

We plan to bring you more cases to hopefully help solve these crimes for families seeking justice.

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