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'Somebody, somewhere knows something': Family of slain Ga. college student tortured by cold trail

Courtesy Marshiela Bush-Rhodes

Rebecca Foley, 21, was shot and killed while driving her car near her Savannah, Ga. apartment on Jan. 21, 2013. The case remains unsolved.

It's been four months since a hard-working Georgia college student named Rebecca Foley was shot to death in her prized red Volkswagen Beetle as she drove up to her well-manicured condo development.

The case was front-page news in Savannah, and Foley's death was highlighted in an NBC News investigation of gun deaths across the country over the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in January.

The attention did not help police crack the case, though, and now Foley's family has jacked up a reward in hopes of shaking loose some leads.

"Somebody, somewhere knows something," said the victim's father, Eddie Foley, who added $10,000 to the reward money for information leading to an arrest and conviction. "I don't want it to become a cold case and I feel like that's what it's becoming."

On the evening of Jan. 21, his 21-year-old daughter was found slumped over her steering wheel, dead from a single bullet that left a hole in the rear window. She had just gotten her nails done and planned to meet a friend at home.

Those who knew Foley described her as a striver with a bright future, a pretty young woman who juggled several jobs to put herself through college and hoped to go into the insurance industry.


Her family thought she must have been the victim of mistaken identity, a gang shootout, or a robbery gone wrong. They assumed a witness or a suspect would soon surface, but weeks have turned to months with no arrest.

Foley's parents, who are divorced, made a public appeal with police in March. Her father traveled from his home in Gastonia, N.C., to Savannah last weekend to spend two days papering the city with fliers.

The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department said there is no progress to report.

"There's no closure. We're not able to move on," said Foley's mother, Jennifer, who considered and then decided against hiring a private investigator.

She said she has joined a bereavement group and is seeing a therapist, her grief compounded by uncertainty.

"I feel this incredible, overwhelming sense of helplessness. It feels like nobody cares," she said.

O.C. Welch cares. The Savannah-based car dealer, who has offered rewards in several other unsolved homicides, kicked in $2,500 for the Foley investigation. Along with the standard $2,500 offered by Crimestoppers, that brings the total to $12,500.

"Never met 'em," Welch said of the Foleys. "Don't need to know 'em. Just trying to help. Ain't that what you're supposed to do?"

Eddie Foley said he's hopeful the cash will yield some clues — and some peace of mind.

"I can't bring my daughter back, but it's very important we bring justice and get this person locked up," he said.

Family and friends remember 21-year-old shooting victim Rebecca Foley, a student at Savannah State University in Georgia, and grapple with her loss.