LINDEN (CBS13) - Surrounded by her family Joann Hobson’s mother was strong, yet emotional.
Joan Shelley described what it was like finding out her daughter was dead after 27 years. All the while, the family urged the man, who may have killed her, to keep talking.
“We needed to know,” said Shelley.
Shelley never stopped looking for her 16-year-old daughter, who went missing in 1985.
“I didn’t want to die and never know where my child is,” said Shelley.
At last, on Friday the family got the news they’d been both hoping for and dreading.
Remains found in an abandoned Linden well were those of Hobson, and two others believed to be victims of the “Speed Freak Killers.”
“We’re very, very happy, because we never, ever, ever, thought we would ever find her,” said Shelley.
The discovery came after years of the family’s search for answers, including, at least, three visits by Shelley to death row inmate Wesley Shermantine. She knew the killer had information about her daughter, because Shermantine knew something only Shelley and two others knew.
“He told me he didn’t know who I was, but he knew Joann and that she had a date that night, and who she had it with and that he had killed her,” said Shelley.
Now the family is pleading with Shermantine to keep talking.
“We would like to urge him to continue to work with law enforcement agencies, so he can do the right thing for other families. They too deserve to know where their loved one is,” said Michelle Loftis, Hobson’s sister.
As for this family, they say they’re whole once again.
“She was part of our family, you know, and now she’s complete, we’re complete,” said Shelley.