It's been more than 13 years since Patricia Gertsch Hodges was fatally stabbed in her St. Petersburg home, but her family hasn't given up hope that an arrest will be made.
Thanks to improvements in technology, St. Petersburg police had identified a "viable suspect," but they don't have enough evidence to make an arrest.
"I think we're so close ... but we have to push, " said David Wawrzynski, a St. Petersburg police detective who has been working on the case since 2010. "This may be our best shot."
Police said a ring and necklace, with the phase "No. 1 Mom" and "No. 1 Grandma" were missing after the stabbing. They hope the missing jewelry will be a clue that helps crack the case.
"They've either pawned it or that's his trophy," Hodges' son Shawn Gertsch told the Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/151FQua ).
The victim's family has spent the last decade hoping for an arrest.
"Somebody knows something," daughter Sue Heeman added.
Hodges lived alone in an apartment in St. Petersburg and a neighbor found her body on April 18, 2002. Police found no evidence of forced entry and investigators said the crime scene was brutal.
Many times over the past decade, Hodges' family members have offered rewards and pleaded for information from the public. Police tracked down suspects and ruled them out.
"It's not like she died of cancer or an accident," her son said. "Somebody took her from us. We didn't get to say goodbye. We just sat there for hours, waiting for police to tell us who it was. They never did. It's a living nightmare. A living nightmare."
For Wawrzynski, the case has become personal.
"There's very little in her lifestyle that would indicated the potential for homicidal violence. There's nothing Pat Hodges was doing that night that someone wouldn't their own mother to be doing. And she got killed," he said. "This is a real victim. A true victim."
Anyone with information is asked to contact the St. Petersburg Police Department at 727-893-7780.