This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.
Felicia Carson had modest plans for her little family; she had two kids that she loved so much. All she wanted to do was watch them grow up and provide for them the best way she could.
“She would go to her son’s baseball game, and she would be up in the stands,” Cynthia Holton, Felicia’s sister, said. “She was always the loudest one, she was so proud of him.”
Those cheers came to a stop over two decades ago when Felicia was murdered in her Clarksville, Tennessee home. Her murder has never been solved.
Felicia was born on November 22, 1962; she had dark hair with natural red highlights. Her hair was long and always had some curls in it. She was beautiful and her smile brightened every picture she was in.
As a little girl, Felicia would change her clothes three to four times a day, and she was full of spunk and energy. Felicia’s aunt, Christine Fisher, remembers her as a special and cute little girl. Christine used to joke that Felicia was her own child.
Felicia absolutely adored her family and they loved her.
“Whenever we would get into a tiff, no matter how upset she was with me, she would always walk me out to the car and hug me before I would leave. Always,” Cynthia recalled. “She would hug me and tell me she loved me; she loved her family.”
Felicia’s mother always put on wonderful family gatherings. Barbecues, Christmas, Thanksgiving – all were great times enjoyed by family.
After high school, Felicia got married and lived in Germany for a time with her husband. In Germany, the couple had their first child, Gary, and when they came back to the states, they welcomed Emily to the family.
Felicia and her husband eventually separated, which was tough for her. She became a single mom with two kids to raise and she wanted to do better.
Felicia was very smart and always mathematically inclined. She enrolled in nursing school and was doing very well at it.
While Felicia was in school, she was working part-time taking care of plants for businesses. She wanted a job that allowed her to be home for her kids when they left for school in the morning and when they came back in the afternoon. She also loved gardening and working with plants, so it was a perfect match.
Emily remembers little about the day her mother was murdered. It was January 12, 1996. Emily was just seven.
It was a Friday. Emily wanted to get home before her brother so she could watch TV first. Her mother had a rule that if she did not keep her room clean, the TV would go in her brother’s room. When Emily arrived at home, she remembers seeing the blood on the door.
Their house had dark carpet. When Emily walked in, it looked like there was mud all over it. She yelled to her mother that she was home and there was no response. Emily could tell something was off; she dropped her backpack down and walked to the hallway.
The first door on the left was her mother’s bedroom. Emily passed by the open door and glanced in each room looking for her mother. At that point, Gary walked in the door.
The phone started to ring. It was a girl who lived down the street asking if Felicia could watch her for the night. Emily told her that there was something wrong. The next thing Emily remembers is walking up to the closet with her brother and seeing more blood on the walls.
That’s where Emily’s memories go blank.
The next memory comes in the friend’s kitchen, speaking to police officers. They informed the children that their mother had been killed.
Felicia was stabbed 72 times, according to reports. She was just 33 years old.
Felicia’s children were the last ones to see her. She saw them off to school that morning and was murdered in their home in Clarksville sometime before they got home at 3:30 p.m.
After Felicia’s death, the children were sent to live with their father in Michigan. This changed their lives forever.
Emily and Gary were left without a mother. Their happy lives were taken away along with their mother. Now, they are left with only memories of her and of that fateful day.
Emily is now a mother of her own. When her son turned seven, she couldn’t help but think when she herself was that age. At age 33, Emily often thinks about how old her mother was when she was killed.
“I can picture her sitting on the couch, reading InStyle magazine, and telling us to have a good day at school,” Emily said.
Emily believes that her mother would want people to remember her as a high-spirited, loving mother. She was tough but always helped people when they needed it.
“She would give you the shirt off of her back,” Emily said.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to reach out to the Clarksville Police Department’s Special Operations Homicide Unit at 931-648-0656 ext. 5042.
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