No witnesses -- no fingerprints -- no motive. Police in Charlotte, North Carolina need the public's help to solve a senseless murder.
On the night of Friday, October 14, 2016, Ketie Jones and her friends were hanging out at a bustling bar in the college town of Charlotte, North Carolina. After last call a couple of hours later, Jones, 26, and her friends leave the bar. When her friends offer the free spirit a ride home:
"She said 'No,' she's like 'Are you crazy? This is one of the last warm nights of the year, I'm not missing this.' She loved to walk," said Ketie's mother Jevona Livingston.
She walked home nearly every night, friends say. Ketie's mother says there was no reason for her daughter to feel worried about walking home. After all, it was a busy weekend night in this very safe college town.
"There were plenty of lights, plenty of people around. It wasn't something that she would have had any reason to fear. She'd been doing it for five years," said Livingston.
The walk home was about a mile long. During her walk home, Jones is posting non-stop photos to friends.
"She was communicating with her friends on her walk home, taking photos of landmarks along her walk on Central Avenue and sending them out on a Facebook chat that had a group of people from work in it. Her text messages seemed very normal. No concern or distress," said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Homicide Detective Shana Isenhour.
According to her friends on the chat, Jones appears to be dancing and singing.
As she turned a corner on the way:
"She was shot," said Jevona Livingston. "She was struck through the side. It actually punctured her heart and her lung through the side."
A resident walking his dog believed someone was setting off fireworks in the parking lot of a nearby business.
"So he walked down there to see what was going on and then he saw her laying there," said Livingston.
And even though the Good Samaritan neighbor found Ketie Jones within minutes of the shooting and called 911, it was still too late. Jones was already dead.
Ketie's mother had just spoken to her daughter three days before the fatal shooting. They had made plans to see each other in two weeks.
"It's just devastating when you can't keep them safe, there's nothing you can do, it's done, your chance to keep them protected and loved and safe is over. You failed," said Livingston.
Right away cops canvass the area and interview neighbors and friends of the beloved 26-year-old. Investigators appear to hit a dead end. Then they discover surveillance video from a building directly across from where the shooting occurred.
Following the fatal shooting, police conducted dozens of interviews.
"We have interviewed pretty much anybody who was close to Ketie, ether at that point in time or leading up to that point in time, but unfortunately it hasn't given us any actionable leads at this point," said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Homicide Detective Shana Isenhour.
The investigation appears to stall. Then cops catch a break, kicking the case back into high gear, with the discovery of surveillance video. The explosive video evidence shows Jones walking home following drinks with some restaurant coworkers on the night she was gunned down.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are asking for the public's help in solving the murder by releasing the footage for the very first time, to Crime Watch Daily.
"There are cameras all around here, but the only one that caught anything relevant to this case is going to be the one across the street there," Isenhour said.
Frame by frame, the camera records Ketie's final moments on the early morning hours of October 15, 2016.
It was 2:40 a.m. when Jones first comes into view of the camera lens as she's walking down Central Avenue in an area in Charlotte known as Plaza-Midwood. She makes a left onto the plaza headed toward Hamorton Place. Less than a minute later, she's shot.
And that point on the video, Jones is out of sight, but at the same time, something else comes into focus.
"You can see headlights from a vehicle appear in the screen for a very, very brief moment," said Isenhour.
A mystery car pulls up next to the parking lot driveway where Ketie's body was later discovered. Police believe the shooter was in that vehicle. But Detective Isenhour doesn't believe it was a drive-by shooting.
"Personally, I think somebody got out of the car and approached her, for her to be this far over from the sidewalk where she originally was," said Isenhour. "I think it was a complete surprise to her. Based on that video, it doesn't really appear that she would have had time to defend herself."
And if she had the chance to defend herself, her friends say she would have done just that.
"She clearly knew what she was doing, she had pink pepper-spray with her at all times," her friend Brendan Coffey tells Crime Watch Daily.
So if not a drive-by, could Ketie's shooting be the result of a robbery gone bad? In recent years, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Robbery Unit has seen a spike in robberies targeting late-night restaurants and their employees. And on the night Ketie Jones was killed, she was on her way home from an after-work hangout with some fellow restaurant coworkers.
Was anything taken from Jones?
"Not that we could tell," said Isenhour.
Ketie's phone was found in her back pocket. Her purse lying next to her still had money in it. But police believe it still could've been an attempted robbery, and they have a theory as to why nothing was taken.
On the surveillance video at 2:41 a.m., the headlights of the suspected shooter's car appeared right next to where Jones would have been walking. Then just 21 seconds later, the driver appears to slam the car in reverse, and abruptly backs up. But why?
The gunfire sets off the nearby business's alarm system. Could it be that the shooter got spooked and didn't have enough time to rob Jones?
Then seconds after backing up, what appears to be the same car comes back into view and races from the scene out of camera range. Cops haven't been able to confirm if it's the killer's car.
Police say the car appears to be a late-model light-colored Toyota or Lexus, silver, gold or champagne in color.
The entire murder went down in about 30 seconds. But police believe the cold-blooded killing was so attention-grabbing that someone had to have seen or heard something that terrible night.
"It doesn't mean that there's no one out there who has information to provide. It's just a lot of times people with that information are reluctant to come and share it with the police," said Det. Shana Isenhour. "We need someone with direct information or even indirect information at this point to come and talk to us and provide us with that path that we need to go down."
And according to the video, there were plenty of potential eyewitnesses. Around 2:41 a.m., when the mystery car pulls up and police believe Jones was gunned down, five cars drive by.
There's one car, a red mid-size sedan, that appears to drive right by the killer's car when the shooting was taking place.
Det. Isenhour says they were unable to identify the make or model of that red car, and have yet to speak with the person behind the wheel or any passengers who may have been inside.
During the next five minutes following the moment Ketie Jones was shot to when first-responders arrive on scene, 17 more cars drive by the crime scene. That's a total of 22 cars and 22 chances that someone saw something.
There have been many hours, weeks and months of time and effort put into working this case. Police do not consider the murder of Ketie Jones a "cold case."
If you were in the area of the Plaza and Central Avenue during the early-morning hours of October 15, 2016, police want to hear from you.
"What if it was their family? What if it was their sister, their mom, their girlfriend walking home in the middle of the night? They would want someone to come forward to share that information," said Det. Isenhour.
"I want the answers. I want justice for her. She doesn't deserve to go into death not being known what happened. Her story is not finished. It needs to be finished," said Ketie's mother Jevona Livingstone.
Ketie's friends and family are determined to focus on her life by creating a scholarship of the arts in her name at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
"Students in the area that wanted to pursue theatre or singing or art or any of the things that Ketie was passionate about, ultimately there's now an endowed scholarship that will live on in perpetuity that will be awarded every year," said Ketie's friend Brendan Coffey. "It is a beautiful silver lining."
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Charlotte Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600. There is a reward of up to $5,000 in the case.