COLONIAL PARKWAY, Va. (WVEC) -- Nearly 30 years after the murders of their loved ones, eight families are still waiting for answers.
Their loved ones were all killed in the Colonial Parkway murders between 1986 and 1989. Three couples were found, and another couple has been missing, but are presumed to be dead.
William Thomas, the brother of one of the victims, still remembers October 12, 1986 like it was yesterday. That was the day he learned that his sister was dead.
“I just remember being shocked, it was just so unexpected,” Thomas says.
Thomas' younger sister was Cathleen Thomas, one of the eight victims. Cathleen was found dead in her car along with her friend Rebecca Dowski, who was a William and Mary senior at the time.
“It was a very shocking mental adjustment to think, could this really be related to all these other double homicides,” Thomas recounts.
The other homicides Thomas is referring to are two incidents that occurred at the Colonial Parkway, two people found shot to death in Ragged Island Wildlife Refuge in Isle of Wight County, and two other people found dead in New Kent County.
Almost 30 years later, all four incidents remain unsolved. Officials are uncertain if all four cases are even connected.
Thomas is attempting to bring attention back to these murders.
“We're definitely more hopeful now that we've ever been before,” explains Thomas. "Because of the advantages in technology.”
Thomas says in 2009 they put pressure on the FBI to reopen the investigation after the families found out that many of the graphic crime scene photos were being used inappropriately.
“The case kind of got a jump start in 2009 as a result of the crime scene photos being out in the public,” Thomas says.
In the last six years, the FBI has been sending dozens of pieces of evidence to a crime lab for DNA testing, something that wasn't done years ago according to Thomas.
“I think there were missed opportunities in the early stages of the investigation,” Thomas says. “I think clues were lost, certain investigators may have locked into certain theories.”