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      Trail still cold in 2008 Jefferson City murder case

      It's been 5 years since Al Nickols was murdered in Jefferson City. No one since has been charged in his death.

      Roxanne Nickols picked up her son from a work site in Owensville on the morning of August 15, 2008.

      He helped lay foundations for water towers across the east and southeast United States for a living, and the job was finished.

      Nickols and her son had a pleasant drive back toward their home in Rocky Mount. They listened to Lynyrd Skynyrd, and stopped for lunch at Lutz's BBQ before dropping him off at a friend's home in Jefferson City.

      Little did Nickols know that it was the last time she would see her son alive.

      George Allen "Al" Nickols spent the evening of the 15th in Jefferson City at a local bar with friends, then ended up at an after-party on West Atchison Street in the early morning hours of the 16th.

      There was an altercation between a few neighbors and partygoers that may or may not have involved Al, but no one has come forward with information surrounding the events of that night.

      In fact, no one has been charged with his murder, five years later.

      "I believe the police have done a pretty thorough investigation. I think that they have a good idea of who did it. Unfortunately sometimes the laws don't always work for the victims. It sometimes works more for the perpetrators, and if you don't have hard concrete evidence, it doesn't always give you the results you'd like," said Roxanne Nickols.

      Several people were said to have attended the party, then went to a diner for a meal.

      Nickols said she believes surely someone must have seen something that night that wasn't right.

      "You have to be responsible for your own actions. It shouldn't be if somebody caught you or not. You should have enough character in your life to stand up and say I did this and take your punishment."

      The mother of two other children has put on a brave face to stay positive and keep her son's memory alive.

      "I can't spend a lot of time being angry because when I'm angry I don't feel the love. This past year especially I've been doing my best to keep a level head and if they find results hopefully they'll call me."

      Being level-headed is just one quality Nickols adored about Al.

      "Generally he seemed to be the one that could figure things out when everybody else was still thinking about it."

      She wishes people who knew something about the murder would come forward and be truthful, something else about her son she misses dearly.

      "Not everybody has the ability to be honest about their behavior whether it's good or bad, and I think that was one of the qualities that I loved about Allen because even if he was wrong, he was always honest."

      Though family and friends continue to hope for answers and closure in Al's death, they'll always cherish him as a caring man who loved to spend time outdoors.

      "He loved to fish. I mean he really enjoyed it and I still have his boat parked around the other side of the house...he made good use of it. We had plenty of catfish and crappie and that kind of thing. He liked hunting, too. He was just an all around kind of guy," beamed Nickols.

      If you have any information about this case, contact the Jefferson City Police at 573-659-TIPS.