LANSING, MI – Jackie Summerville lovingly picked up her grandchild, Kyla Lauderdale and grazed her lips across her chubby cheek. Jackie lamented that she had been through enough this past year and was grateful for the opportunity to cherish one kiss from the 1-year-old. Looking in Kyla’s eyes longingly, it was as though she were searching for answers in them.
Surrounded by family members at a gathering at her home, Jackie still ponders and wonders why her son, James Lauderdale III, was murdered on June 26, 2009. The case is still unsolved.
The family has daily struggles and it has been very traumatic for Jackie who still has trouble sleeping through the night. She said, “This past Mother’s Day was the worst in my life. I think about James morning, noon and night.”
According to the Crime Stoppers of Mid Michigan website, during the early morning hours (approximately 2:00 am) of June 26, 2009 someone (possibly 2 subjects) forced entry into the residence of James Lauderdale III at 1036 Endicott, Apt. #2, in Lansing, MI (Delta Township).
After a brief struggle or altercation James was shot and killed. Eaton County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to please contact Det. Kevin Hearld at 517-323-8489 or Det. Rick Buxton at 517-323-8484. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 517-483-STOP.
Crime Stoppers recently began to re-air the commercial requesting information on the case.
The family has provided guidance and love to James’ children, Katrina, 4, and Kyla; who will only remember her father through pictures. Jackie said that Katrina and James were really close and she talks about him all the time.
The family decided to gather on June 27, 2010 to celebrate his life. Surrounded by family and friends, most wearing shirts with photos of James on them, Jackie spoke about what a giving person her son was.
As each day passes the anxiety grows for Jackie, the case gets colder by the day. She says that she prays a lot.
She added, “I think that he should not be gone. Some one took him away from me and I am ready for the people who are responsible to be caught. I am hoping to get some coverage on this case and that someone will come forward. It has been one of the hardest things to deal with.”
Mother Nature provided a warm bright day and suddenly turned on her heel and surprised them all with a strong message that nothing is as it seems and life can change suddenly. A brief sun shower darkened the sky and brought severe thunder and lightning along with it.
One year later, it doesn’t make life any easier for the family who remembers James as a loving and kind individual.
At the end of the night, Jackie, kissed and hugged the last person who went through the door and hopes that the phone will ring soon with news of who murdered her son.
This article was originally printed in the July 4, 2010 - July 71, 1010 edition.