Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office (VPS) Cold Case Detectives have located the mother of a 15-year-old victim in an unsolved 1980 homicide.

Mary Darlene Howard, of the Sandy Hill area, was reported missing April 16 from Mike’s Trailer Park, where she was last seen on the morning of April 15 by her mother at their residence.

Almost two weeks later, on April 27, Howard’s body was located in a wooded area on West Boundary Road in the Sandy Hill area.

Howard’s mother, Wanda Busbee, who resides out-of-state has been made aware of the reopening of her daughter's case.

She prepared a handwritten letter regarding the case, along with photographs taken throughout Howard’s life.

The VPSO Cold Case investigative team is seeking public assistance in Howard’s, and other unsolved homicides in the parish.

Detectives Rhonda Jordan and Jerry Twyman are seeking any information that people might have regarding the case. They can be reached at 337-238-7248.

“We would greatly appreciate the public’s assistance as we attempt to resolve these cases for both the victims and their families,” said Sheriff Craft. The objective in reopening cold cases is the arrest and prosecution of the person or persons responsible for the crimes.

Craft said profiles of additional cold cases will be forthcoming in the near future.

Investigators will be reviewing case documentation, evidentiary times, and re-interviewing witnesses as well as suspects in the cases.

Information regarding the killing of Mary Darlene did not include any data regarding cause of death.

VPSO has also reopened another unsolved case in the death of Pamela Miller, 23, of Leesville. She was reported missing on May 30, 1989 by family members when she failed to return home after going to the Instant Replay Lounge in Leesville.

Miller was last believed to be in the area of Hwy. 117 & Gill Hunt Road in Leesville at approximately 11:30 p.m on May 29.

She may have also been seen just prior to this at Leebo’s on Hwy. 28 using the pay phone.

Miller’s vehicle was located on May 30 and recovered by her family members.

Her remains were discovered by a hunter in a remote location on Hwy. 118 in Sabine Parish on November 24, 1989.

At the time of her disappearance Miller had been employed at Burger King and Ford’s Cleaners in Leesville.

VPSO is attempting to locate family members of Pamela Miller.

Investigators are reviewing case documentation, evidentiary items, and re-interviewing witnesses as well as suspects.

The pursuit of cold cases by law enforcement agencies in recent years has proved more successful as improvements in the forensic science field, including the use of DNA databases, has opened investigative doors in some cases. In some cases, such science has also resulted in wrongly convicted or suspected persons being exonerated.