LOCATION: BOWLING GREEN, KY
DATE: SEPTEMBER 10, 2001
EVENT: DISCOVERY OF HUMAN REMAINS
Just one day before the nation would be rocked by the terrorists attack of 9/11, residents of Bowling Green, Kentucky found themselves faced with an unfathomable loss. A two week search for missing 15 year old Jessie Marie Twilight Song Crooks had come to a tragic end.
At around 4pm on September 10, 2001, a man walking his dog off a trail in a remote area on Matlock Old Union Church Road, crossed over to the border of a wooded area when his dog caught the scent of something. Just inside the tree line he came across the partially decomposed and fully clothed body of 15 year Jessie Marie Twilight Song Crooks. Her body had been dumped in an area that could only be arrived at by leaving a nearby gravel road. She was abandoned just at the brink of a wooded area and not far from a dried out pond. Her killer had made a rather inept attempt to conceal her body by covering Twilight with leaves and plants he had pulled up by the roots. She was less than 5 miles from her home.
Twilight was last seen late in the evening on August 28th, 2001. Earlier in the day she had spent time with several friends, first having dinner with them and then hanging out and listening to music. Twilight was a bubbly teen ager whose genuine wide smile was contagious. She loved being around people and had a fascination with sun and star images. At 5ft 6" and less than 100 lbs she was graceful and alive with seemingly endless energy. Twilight had been born in New Mexico and was half American Indian, a heritage she celebrated.
After returning home from her time with friends, Twilight received a phone call at about 10:50 pm. Police later traced the call to a pay phone outside of the Plano Country Store. It is believed that Twilight snuck out on foot to meet the person who called her from the pay phone that evening. Twilight was never seen alive again.
Her father Bobby Crooks and step mother Linda reported her missing the next day on August 29th. The community searched for her, hoping against hope she had just run away. No one dreamed she could have come to such a tragic end so close by.
When Twilight was discovered thirteen days later, her body was partially decomposed from exposure to the elements and animal activity. This made it impossible for police investigators to make a positive identification. Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Emily Craig was called in to assist. By using dental records and other medical records, Dr. Craig was able to make a positive identification.
On September 11th, 2001 the most horrific news Twilight's parents received was not emanating from television news reports about terrorists and planes being flown into buildings. That day, they received the worst news of their lives from Warren County Sheriff investigators. The body found in the remote area off of Matlock Old Union Church Road was indeed their missing daughter. Twilight would not be returning home.
UNRAVELING A MYSTERY:
Investigators believe Twilight was killed the night of August 28th. The condition of Twilight's body when recovered strongly supports this. Evidence in the area where her body was found suggests she was killed in a different location than where her body was recovered. Additional evidence at the scene indicates the killer moved her body in an attempt to conceal it.
Because of the particular location where Twilight's body was discovered, and the fairly complicated access path to it, investigators believe Twilight's killer is familiar with that area. Though it is remote, it is just a few miles away from the Plano Subdivsion where Twilight lived on Larmon Mill Road. There are several critical clues from the scene which detectives have not made public. These are things that only the killer would know and detectives say they must protect that information.
Twilight was found wearing a men's extra-large football jersey with the number "10" on it (pictured below). It was from a rival highschool and Twilight's parents did not recognize it. Police would later trace the origin of the jersey but it would only lead to a dead end.
Twilight's shoes were missing from the scene where her body was recovered. It could be that her shoes were left in the killer's car. However, Twilight was also known to go barefoot on occasion. Especially when the viviacious teenager was going to be hanging out with people that she knew.
Twilight's purple fossil watch was never located at the scene. This could be an important clue. Perhaps someone will remember someone suddenly having a purple fossil watch or giving one away around the time of her death.
Investigators were able to recover DNA from the scene. That information has been entered into CODIS. Investigators will be notified immediately if a profile matching the DNA profile left at the scene is entered. Investigators say the DNA they collected means if they have a suspect, they can prove one way or the other if he is responsible for Twilight's death.
Investigators have never released the cause of death for Twilight. This information is purposely being withheld to help eliminate inaccurate and false information. Over the years, police have interviewed well over 100 persons in this investigation. Teachers, friends, teens she went to church and school with, pastors, co-workers, neighbors, and relatives. They have relentlessly tracked down every lead that has come in on this case. All to no avail.
STILL SEEKING JUSTICE:
This month marks the 17th anniversary of the discovery of Twilight's disappearance and murder. She would be 32 years old now, likely with a family and children of her own. But Twilight was denied that and her family was denied the joy of watching her grow into a young woman. Twilight never had the chance to chase her dreams or build on her hopes for the future. Her killer selfishly took her from this earth, brutally tearing her from all of the friends and family members she loved so much. All they have left now are the memories, the pictures, and a memorial placed at the scene where Twilight's lifeless body was found.
It is likely that Twilight knew her killer, and therefore, the people who knew Twilight likely also know her killer. It's a sobering thought, but investigators are hoping someone will come forward with some information about that night that can help them bring Twilight's killer to justice. Twilight trusted her killer and that decision cost her her life. It's up to those who knew and loved her to speak up for her.
Perhaps someone out there heard or saw something that night or shortly after and discounted it as not being important, especially if it relates to someone they knew and trusted in the community. The Warren County Sheriff's office wants to make it clear, no piece of information or tip is too small or too inconsequential. It may be that someone has just a small bit of information, but it may fit into a much larger piece of information for Sheriff's investigators and be just what is needed to reveal the truth of what happened that night in 2001.
If you have any information about Twilight's murder, you are urged to reach out to the Warren County Sheriff's Department at 270-842-1633. The Sheriff's office dedicated to bringing Twilight's killer to justice and they want to hear from you.
You can also contact the South Central Kentucky Crime Stoppers at 270-781-CLUE (2583), or call toll-free at 866-842-CLUE(2583) to leave a tip. You can text your tip to 274-637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) by texting "SCKY" plus your message. You can remain anonymous if you wish. You may receive up to a $1,000 reward for your information.
You can make a difference by sharing this post so that this information can reach as many people as possible. Twilight never had the chance to have a family of her own, she never had the chance to graduate high school, or go to college. Twilight needs you to do what she no longer can. She needs you to be her voice. You can help secure justice for this life cut far too short. You can bring hope to those who loved her by sharing this post and talking about her story.
Her killer is hoping she will be forgotten. He is hoping her name will not come up. He is hoping her story will not be talked about, that her life and death will be forgotten. You can be a vital part of making sure that doesn't happen.
~None Silent, None Forgotten~