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Students help WPD with Port City's cold cases

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) –- In more than two decades the trail of more than 30 murder cases have gone cold in the Port City.

To bring public awareness to some of these cases, Wilmington Police have teamed up with Cape Fear Community College to create public service announcements.

Just a few weeks ago students finished their first PSA which airs on Wilmington’s government information channel, the city’s YouTube account, and WPD’s Facebook page.

Police said they chose which cases to make videos for based on evidence and leads they are working with, in hopes someone will come forward with information that will led to an arrest.

As Samantha Smith raked up leaves around her son’s grave and trimmed the over-grown grass to read the headstone, she never anticipated this is how she would spend his 31st birthday.

"My only child has been taken. It was a big deal, and it still is a big deal,” said Smith.

Her son, Ronald Conyers was gunned down and murdered when he was 24.

His body was found in an alley March 31, 2007.

“When you feel like crying, cry. When you feel like screaming, scream, because no one knows what that child meant to you,” she said.

Conyers’ homicide is one of 32 cold cases in the last 22 years that have police still searching for killers.

"You see all these crime dramas, and to see how they go about a real investigation and going through the actual files you can't share with anyone else; it's kind of like being on a jury,” said Kewa Campelloff, one of the students making the PSAs.

The students completed a video on the murder of 59-year-old Carol Johnson who was killed in her Pine Valley home July 2011.

For Shaun Bachek, this experience has affected him even after he turns his computer off.

"I leave the police department thinking about it. It's not like I just think about it there and go about my day. I go to sleep thinking about it,” said Bachek.

For now, there are no plans to make an announcement for Conyers’ murder but his mother says she has found her solace.

Wilmington PD and the students are planning to create five more PSAs.

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Fantastic

As a family member of Carol.. I am really pleased they are doing this!! Anything that can help solve her case I am 100% behind. Thank you Shaun. It is really great!! I wish it had her picture connected with the video though!