Anita and the three girls
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- Anita Redmon dedicated her career to fighting crime. It is tragically ironic that she died a victim of a crime.
It happened eight years ago at Stone Mountain Park where Redmon worked as a gate attendant. A lot has changed since then, but one thing hasn't: her family is still seeking justice.
Anita Redmon had three daughters. They were known to friends as "Anita and the three girls" because they were always together, even in their adult years.
"She lived across the street from me," said Melinda Duncan, Redmon's's middle daughter. "I could see her every day." Duncan said her mother would stop at her house every day. "You miss your mom," she said.
Redmon is also missed by her eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild, a girl. "She loved nothing more than snuggling with the babies and taking care of them," said Donna Dennison, Redmon's youngest daughter. "She doted on them and spoiled them."
In her professional career, Anita Redmon was a trailblazer. She was the first female police officer in the city of Doraville. Redmon worked for the Doraville Police Department for 25 years before she retired. That's when she decided to take a more comfortable, safe job at Stone Mountain Park as a gate attendant.
On July 16, 2005, after only three months on the job, Redmon's safety net collapsed when a man with a gun walked up to the West Gate where she was working and tried to rob her.
Stone Mountain Park Police Chief Chuck Kelley remembers the night like it was yesterday.
"Anita was talking on the phone with our radio operator and she gave the signal that she was being robbed, three times," he said. "And then the radio operator heard the shot."
A patrol car was at the gate within 45 seconds, but it was too late. Anita Redmon was dead and the man who tried to rob her was gone without taking a cent. Nearly eight years later, he has not been caught.
"This case will never go away for us until it's solved," Chief Kelley said.
There have been leads in the case over the past eight years but no one has been charged with Redmon's murder. Six days after the murder Stone Mountain Park Police and the GBI arrested Mark Woolf, 36, of Ellenwood and charged him with solicitation.
Witnesses told police 12 days before Redmon was killed, Woolf was in the park planning and recruiting people to help him rob the West Gate. But Woolf has never been charged with the murder.
Recently the GBI crime lab came up with new evidence from a shard of plastic from the window at the gate. It was broken off during the attempted robbery. Using new lab tests, the GBI found what is called "touch DNA" on the shard.
"Once we have a viable suspect we can compare that DNA and prove that they were at the scene," Chief Kelley said.
In and of itself, it is not enough to make an arrest.
"It's kind of like an open wound that hasn't healed," said Mona Giroux, Redmon's oldest daughter.
Redmon's legacy is etched in Stone Mountain Park forever. After the murder, the park increased security at the gates. Bullet resistant glass now protects the gate attendants. Surveillance cameras and bright lights were also installed around the gate.
There is a memorial garden next to the gate featuring a Camellia bush that has been in Anita's family for over 70 years.
Anita Redmon spent her career seeking justice and blazing trails. It would only be fitting if someone came forward with information to help solve the case. Then there would be justice for the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren, and the three girls.
"They can't be afraid. If this was their mom they would want somebody to answer questions," Giroux said. "They would want somebody to come forward."
"It would not bring her back, but it sure would feel better," Duncan said.
A very substantial reward has accrued over the past eight years. It's now up to $55,000. If you know anything about the case call the GBI Tip line at 404-244-2600.
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