Katherine ‘Kétie’ Jones was only 26 years old when she was murdered during the early morning hours of October 15th, 2016. The previous evening, Kétie had gone out with some friends to a bar in Charlotte, North Carolina. The group remained at the bar until last call around 2am. When they left, Kétie’s friends offered her a ride home, but she declined; opting to walk instead. She explained that this was going to be one of the last warm nights of the year, and she did not want to miss out on it. According to Kétie’s friends, this was something she did often and they felt confident that she’d get home safely.
Kétie continued to message her friends throughout her walk home in a Facebook group chat, and there were no signs of distress in said messages. She sent her final message to her friends at 2:33am. Minutes later, at 2:40am, Kétie is caught on surveillance camera walking down Central Avenue in an area called Plaza-Midwood. She is seen making a left towards Hamorton Place and then she eventually walked out of the camera’s frame. Less than a minute later, Kétie was shot. A man who was walking his dog near the plaza heard the noise, but thought it was fireworks. Just to check, he walked towards that area to see what was going on. He then found Kétie laying on the ground, suffering from gunshot wounds. At 2:47am, he called the police. Although this was only minutes after she was shot, it was already too late—Kétie had died from her injuries.
Following Kétie’s death, investigators inevitably questioned those closest to her. None of those people provided any significant evidence or leads, so investigators had to look elsewhere for clues. Finally, they obtained the surveillance footage that captured Kétie’s final moments. Investigators noticed that the moment Kétie steps out of sight, something else comes into focus: headlights from a car. The car itself is not seen in this frame, but just seconds later a car is seen pulling up to the driveway where Kétie’s body was found. Investigators believe Kétie’s killer is the driver of the car, but they do not believe it was a drive-by shooting. Lead Detective Isenhour explained, “I think somebody got out of the car and approached her, for her to be this far over from the sidewalk where she originally was. I think it was a complete surprise to her. Based on that video, it doesn’t really appear that she would have had time to defend herself.”
At first glance, it does not appear that Kétie’s murder was part of a robbery, as none of her items were taken from her. The surveillance footage shows that the suspect shooter’s car appeared right next to where Kétie would have been walking at the time she was shot, but just 21 seconds later the car abruptly slams into reverse and backs away. Investigators state that it’s possible the shooter got spooked after the gunfire set off the alarms of a nearby local business, and fled the scene before having the opportunity to rob Kétie. However, this has not been confirmed, and it appears that the entire murder occurred in a matter of 30 seconds.
Kétie’s murder remains unsolved. Despite the fact that it occurred in such a short period of time, investigators are appealing for anybody else who might have seen or heard something to come forward. There is currently a $5000 reward in place. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please contact Charlotte Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600.