Portsmouth strangulation case unsolved eight years later

Jason Marks reports on strangulation cold case

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Portsmouth Police called 10 On Your Side for help, hoping to find the person who strangled a woman eight years ago.

“This one morning it just didn’t feel right,” said Portsmouth’s AJ Williams. “I woke up she wasn’t there.”

Nov. 30, 2006 is a day Williams will never forget. He was only 17, living with his mom in the Southside Gardens apartments off Seventh Street in Portsmouth.

“There was just a whole bunch of police and [crime] tape,” Williams said. “People were like ‘the police found a naked man back there,’ and I went to work.”

The investigation focused behind a building in the 900 block of Seventh Street, just yards from his front door. When he got home, he was told by a detective the body found was not a man, but a woman’s.

“He told me that was my mom,” Williams said. “She was left in her drawers and panties. My life crumbled.”

41-year-old Jonesika Lewis was known as “Sunshine” for her smile. For years, she battled a drug addiction, but Williams said she was turning her life around.

“She was really looking forward to having a granddaughter,” Williams said. “She’s gone, and now I have to sit here, and all I got is pictures and memories.”

Photos: Portsmouth murder remains unsolved

Police determined Lewis was strangled. “That was a hard pill for me to swallow,” Williams said.

Over the years, the leads have run dry. The person who killed Lewis is still out there, and the investigation has gone cold.

“This person is still walking the streets with no consequences, no justice,” Williams said. “I just pray to God they know what they’ve done and it is eating at them.”

Williams said his mom was also missing some jewelry when police found her body. Police still don’t know a motive behind the crime.

If you have any information that could help Portsmouth Detectives, please call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

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