Unsolved murder haunts family 5 years later

Roderick Batts, 33, shot twice outside Waffle House


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The family of a man gunned down outside a Waffle House is pleading for someone with information to come forward. 

Five years have come and gone and the family of Roderick Batts haven't moved any closer to the truth.

Batts' parents spoke publicly for the first time Saturday, the five year anniversary of his death. The 33-year-old was shot twice back in May 2009 when he stepped outside the Jacksonville Beach restaurant to take a phone call. Batts later died at a hospital.     

His family said they want justice for their son and closure for his four children.     


"Just turn yourself in. You've caused enough hurt," said Roderick's father, Milton Batts. 

A public plea was made from the hearts of tormented parents who don't want their son's unsolved murder case to go cold.

"Our main objective is to keep this incident in the forefront and to keep it moving until such time as there is a suspect or person that is responsible that will be found or come forward," Batts said. 

Roderick's mother Melva said his death has left a hole in the hearts of his four children. 

"It's just taken a person who was really sort of the person who kept things going and got things started at family gatherings and things like that," Melva Batts said.

Milton and Melva Batts spoke with Channel 4 on their drive home to North Carolina. They said detectives have followed several leads in the case over the years but nothing has panned out.     

With a reward being offered in the case, the Batts said they know someone out there knows something that can help bring them closure and justice.


"He was a father, a brother, an uncle and a son. We are real people and he was a real person and we want folks to know that and to identify with that."

The family has raised nearly $4,000 for a reward.     

Crime Stoppers is also offering a $5,000 reward for any information on this case. 

Anyone with any information on the murder is asked to call 866-845-TIPS.