After 17 years, Columbus police say Woolfolk murder can be solved

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)- The family of Columbus native Albert Woolfolk understands something few people never have had to face: the agonizing wait for answers in the unsolved murder of a loved one.

“It’s been very, very hard over the years,” Woolfolk’s wife Frances said as she reflected on the past years of searching for answers and justice. “It’s been 17 years now, and it’ something you go through each day. You never forget it, but you try to continue on each day.”

Woolfolk’s brother Gene also feels the tormenting agony of the unsolved mystery constantly haunting his family.

“You live with the thought every day of what happened, knowing that somebody killed your brother. That, that person, is still out there and still walking around free and has not paid for what he’s done, either,” said Gene Woolfolk. “That’s what we’re mainly trying to do is hold somebody responsible for this act.”

On July 18, 2003, the 45-year-old father of four was discovered murdered inside his home on Habersham Avenue.

“Family members had entered into the home and had discovered his lifeless body,” said Detective Stuart Carter, a member of the Columbus Police Department who, now retired, returned to CPD part-time to focus his full attention on unsolved murder investigations. “It was apparent he was a victim of a homicide. Definitely, he was killed inside the home,” said Carter.

Columbus Police have not publicly revealed how Woolfolk was murdered., but do say the crime was brutal.

But they are talking about the time-frame and circumstances of his last known moments and releasing some new information in the case that investigators hope will bring new leads.

“We strongly believe that Mr. Woolfolk likely was murdered the early morning hours of {July] the 17th [2003]. even though he, technically, was not discovered deceased until the 18th,” said Det. Carter.

The last time anyone reported seeing Woolfolk alive was the night of July 16, 2003. Detectives say witnesses saw him leaving Coach’s Corner Sports Cafe, a business no longer open. But in 2003, the establishment was located in the shopping center at 3709 Gentian Blvd.

“He was seen leaving the parking lot in his vehicle which was a silver Jaguar convertible,” said Det. Carter.

However, Det. Carter says that Woolfolk did not leave Coach’s alone. Witnesses say two African-American men and one white man were with him as he departed that evening.

While police make it clear these men are not necessarily responsible for Woolfolk’s murder, they want to find them for questioning.

One promising lead is the increased information detectives have learned about the white man whom they call a person of interest.

He’s described as being between 25-to-28-years-old back in 2003. That would mean he is now in his mid-40’s. Other identifying characteristics include: He was between 5′ 10″ and 6′ ft. tall with a medium build. He enjoyed playing pool, so he frequented not only Coach’s, but also the Red Rider Lounge, then, too, inside the same Gentian Blvd. shopping center as Coach’s, and Scooter’s, formerly on Sidney Simon Blvd. (All of those establishments have since gone out-of-business.)

Police also say the white man had his hair cut military-style or was possibly bald. They add he was a heavy drinker. But these are not the only things police have learned.

“When he became intoxicated, he became a very violent individual,” said Det. Carter.

Det. Carter asks that anyone who frequented Coach’s, Red Rider, or Scooter’s back in 2003 to try and recall if these characteristics bring anyone to mind. If so, they should contact him. He stresses that even if someone thinks what they remember is not important, it could bring a vital clue to the investigation.

Det. Carter adds the case has gained momentum this year. Police have learned new information from witnesses and some items are being processed for DNA.

Woolfolk’s family says they find comfort in knowing there’s still hope of finding justice, even after years of waiting.

“I pray every night that one day somebody will come forth and be able to solve this for us,” said Frances Woolfolk.

Woolfolk’s brother Gene does all he can to continue to fight for justice in his brother’s case. He manages a Facebook group devoted to keeping the unsolved murder in the public eye.

Anyone with information in the Woolfolk case is asked to contact Det. Stuart Carter at (706) 225-4319 or by email at StuartCarter@Columbusga.org.

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