SAN DIEGO —
Nathan Cole would have turned 35 June 1 had he not been gunned down in the early hours of Aug. 15, 2013 while he slept.
Police were called to the boarding house at 1005 27th Avenue where Cole resided at about 10 a.m. that day after a relative discovered his body.
Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler estimated the time of death between 1 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nathan Cole's mother, Ella Cole, said five or six people were at the boarding house the morning her son was shot.
"If you've got five or six people living in that boarding house and they heard a shot, somebody should have been jumping up and dialing 911," Ella Cole said. "But didn't nobody do that."
"I know they know at that boarding house who killed my son," Ella Cole said. "I also know some people that live on that block know."
Ella Cole said she is in contact almost daily with the detective at the Meridian Police Department who is handling the case. He is trying to find her son's killer, but no one is talking, she said.
"If anybody knows something, I want them to please, please, please come in," Ella Cole said. "Call down there and let them know. They don't have to give their name. They can get a reward if the information is right. I just want them to call in just like they've been doing for the other murders."
The nearly nine months since her son's death have taken a toll on Ella Cole.
"I cry. I pray. I can't sleep. I have to see a counselor," she said. "This is a hard shoe to wear for any mother."
She's grown more reclusive and performing routine tasks has grown progressively harder. Ella Cole's counselor told her she has to interact with people. She's trying but it is a struggle.
And it's not just Nathan Cole's mother who is suffering. His four children are as well.
"He has a daughter who is going through it now," Ella Cole said. "She always calls me crying, 'I don't have my daddy any more.'"
Ella Cole said she doesn't know why anyone would want to kill her son; he wasn't violent and didn't like to fight.
"If you had an argument with him and came back 10 minutes later, he would say, 'Forget about that, let's go have a beer,'" she said. "He wasn't about that drama. He didn't steal. He didn't kill."
Nathan Cole was always busy doing something to earn a little money for his pockets, his mother said. He did odd jobs, fixed cars here and there and worked for the lady who owned the boarding house where he stayed.
He had just gotten a full-time job at a carwash before he was killed.
Thursday morning, three young men were standing across the street from the boarding house talking, a man who came out of the boarding house turned away from a reporter's camera and walked in the opposite direction. A couple of people sat on the steps of an adjacent house.
These people are the key to solving the mystery surrounding her son's death, Ella Cole believes.
"Everybody around there knows each other," Ella Cole said. "They drink together and they talk trash. They are always up late and somebody saw something the night my son was killed."
Ella Cole isn't giving up until her son's killer is found. Perhaps then, she hopes, she will find some measure of peace.
"I just want justice," Ella Cole said. "I don't want them to think they got away with it."
Anyone with information about Nathan Cole's death can call in an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers toll free at 1-855-485-8477 or they can call the Meridian Police Department's anonymous tip line at 311.