Even after 20 years, mother of murder victim still remains hopeful of closure

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 2, 2012

SALISBURY — Thelma Wisecarver can see her son dressed in his Army uniform.
Twenty years after Byron Montgomery “Monty” Wisecarver’s murder, it’s how she still envisions him.
At 67, Thelma Wisecarver knows she’ll probably never see the killer caught and given the death penalty.
But, she said, she’ll always hope for justice.
“They say it gets easier, but it doesn’t,”?Wisecarver said.
Monty Wisecarver’s case was one of 13 selected by detectives for reinvestigation as part of a cold case campaign started earlier this year.
“It gets me all excited,”?Thelma Wisecarver said. “It just gives me hope that they’re not going to bury it.”
Wisecarver was gunned down by an apparent assailant in wait outside a home on Oct. 23, 1992. The 26-year-old was shot just after starting his Chevrolet truck for work.
He struggled into the Sherills Ford Road home, which was owned by his wife’s stepsister, and was alive when officers arrived.
Wisecarver died of his injuries as he was being placed in a helicopter bound for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.
Detectives have revisited Wisecarver’s case over the years but with little success. They were never able to identify the driver of a motorcycle a witness heard speeding away from the scene.
Wisecarver served with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Airborne “Nightstalkers” stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky.
He also helped capture the dictator and drug runner Manuel Noriega in Panama in 1989.
Following his discharge from the Army in 1990, Wisecarver began working overtime at Hoechst Celanese to earn a little extra money.
When his estranged wife left him for the third time in 1992, she signed custody of the children over to him.
Thelma Wisecarver said that just before he died, Monty was able to tell an EMS worker, who was also a friend of his, to tell the children he loved them.
When she left the hospital, Thelma Wisecarver followed detectives to the Sheriff’s Office and began working with deputies.
She said she never expected her son to die from the gunshot wound. She also never expected the case to go unsolved.
Twenty years later, Thelma Wisecarver sees the case is cold.
“I think they’re going to get away with it,”?she said.
Even so, the reopening of her son’s case has given her some hope.

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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