Cold Case: Death of uncle inspires career in law enforcement

Now Sheriff's Deputy wants to solve the case

PRICHARD, Ala. (WKRG) - 42-year-old Melvin Niles was found shot to death inside his home on Warren Street in Whistler in December, 2008. His family found the body. The case remains unsolved.

“Basically he was executed,” said his nephew Archie Niles.

He loved his uncle, and a decade later wants the case solved

“He’s very missed and it still hurts to this day, even almost ten years ago,” he said. “It’s still fresh wounds knowing he was taken away way too soon.”

And Archie is personally working to solve the case. His uncle’s murder inspired him to pursue a career in law enforcement. He’s now with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.

“I said to myself, maybe if I get into law enforcement I could make a difference and do something positive to help people out,” he said.

“Detective Niles is probably one of our most passionate detectives,” said Lt. Paul Burch with the MCSO. “He’s got one of the highest clearance rates in the detective bureau.”

The Sheriff’s Office is now going back over the case, originally investigated by Prichard Police.

“We don’t always take a look at cases from other agencies because that’s their cases, but he’s family and we’re going to do anything we can to help pursue that,” Burch said.

Detectives do have some leads. Niles says a woman, then 18, told his family she was there when Melvin Niles was killed.

“She implicated herself as being at the house at the time of the murder,” he said. “She told who did what and what all role they played in the homicide and she identified the shooter.”

The woman, though, never repeated the information to police.

“I’m assuming she was just afraid of (the killer),” Niles said.

The Sheriff’s Office says it will re-examine the case from the beginning.

“We will try to look at physical evidence, look at all the reports,” said Burch. “Sometimes just a fresh set of eyes on a report can pick out things that someone else didn’t caught on to. Sometimes an investigator get wrapped up in a case and they miss things that are obvious to others.”

And Archie Niles hopes they’ll finally crack the case the inspired him to become an officer

“Right now we just want some justice served,” Niles said. “My granny just had her 90th birthday and we’d like her to get some justice before she’s called home.”

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