This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and the University of North Florida’s Applied Journalism class.
Growing up with her nine siblings in Holler, Ohio, Emma Kelsoe loved nature and spent a lot of time outdoors. She loved playing hide-and-seek, climbing the dogwood trees and going on sleigh rides when it snowed.
Being part of a big family meant a lot of work for Emma and her siblings.
“We would all have to take turns doing the dishes,” her sister said, “To get out of it, Emma would hide all the dirty dishes in the oven, in the cabinets, or under the stove and in other places to avoid doing them. Our dad would eventually find them, and I would get blamed for it.”
At the age of 22, Emma traveled to Florida in 1958 for a visit and never left. She fell in love with everything that Florida had to offer, including the nature.
Living in Davie, Florida she raised her family and started a lawn care business with her husband, Clifford ‘Slick’ Kelsoe.
Emma started a family of her own, with four children leading to eight grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. She was very close with her children and grandchildren, and spoke to her daughter, Suzanne Kolcz every day.
Later in her life, Emma enjoyed dancing at the Hard Rock Cafe, she loved celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, and enjoyed old Country music.
“Her favorites were Hank Williams Jr, George Jones and artists like that,” Suzanne stated.
Kelsoe was a diehard Ohio State Buckeyes fan as well.
Emma’s life was unfortunately cut short February 1st, 2017.
Emma and her beloved dog, Rondo, were taking a walk in their neighborhood when an unknown suspect hit Emma and her dog and then fled the scene. They were just two doors down from her home and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Six years later, the case remains unsolved, and her family is still seeking justice as they continue to mourn their beloved Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother.
A reward was offered by Broward County Crime Stoppers for $27,000 but did not lead to any arrests.
Kelsoe is still remembered today by her friends, family, and through the active Facebook page that her daughter, Suzanne Kolcz set up, called Justice for Emma Kelsoe & Rondo. The Page shares fond memories of Kelsoe through pictures and videos, to keep her memory alive.
“I release balloons every year on her birthday and on the anniversary of her death in honor of her,” Kelsoe’s youngest son, Mickey, shared.
While preparing this article for publication Emma’s daughter, Suzanne, passed away unexpectedly. Suzanne worked tirelessly to keep her mother’s case in the public eye, encouraging anyone with information to come forward.
If you have any information on the unsolved homicide of Emma Kelsoe, please call the Davie Police Department at (954) 693-8200. To remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a reward, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-8477. Or dial **TIPS from your mobile device.
Please consider using the buttons below to share this case in hopes that someone, somewhere will come forward and give this victim and family the answers they need and the justice they deserve.
If you have a loved one that is the victim of an unsolved homicide, please submit their case here for consideration in a future Cold Case Spotlight post.