18 years later: Mother reflects on daughter’s murder

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Marcella ‘Marcie’ Mills was shot and killed on Aug. 24, 2001, and 18 years later, her mother Martha Mills-Whitrock reflects on the phone call that would forever change her life.

“It was August 24, 2001, on a Friday morning around 9:30 a.m.,” Mills-Whitrock said. “I was over there shampooing hair, and Investigator Nelson called me and told me something had happened to my daughter. I thought it was Renee, but it was Marcie.”

Marcie was killed by Billie Ray Howell outside of her home as she was leaving for work.

“He waited for her that morning to get in her car,” Mills-Whitrock said. “He shot her in the back before she got in … When she fell in the dirt, he shot her face down point-blank in the back of the head.”

She said although her daughter was taken away many years ago, the pain still lingers.

“It’s awful to lose a child, especially the way mine was killed,” she said.

She said throughout the years she has managed to stay active during her healing process.

“I started going around singing to churches and nursing homes because she loved my singing, and I just know one day I’m going to see her again,” Mills-Whitrock said.

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