Family seeks answers in killing of Gadsden man - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Family seeks answers in killing of Gadsden man

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GADSDEN, Ala. -

A Gadsden family wants answers in the killing of their brother.

Police said 52-year-old Garry Stokes died early Saturday from a stab wound to his side.  A neighbor found Stokes' body on the front porch of his Hartford Street home around 6:30 Saturday morning.

"I never imagined that somebody would come to my home and tell me that my brother was...laid out on the porch and he was dead," Renay Stokes said.

"I am so hurt, and I am so disappointed that somebody would do him like that.  Instead of taking to a local hospital, you brought him and left him on the porch for dead," she said.

"That's not right and we want some justice for it."

Stokes was the second-oldest of six children.  He had two daughters and two granddaughters.

Renay Stokes said she thinks the person who stabbed her brother did so elsewhere, and then brought Garry Stokes' body back to his house.  She said he always entered the house through the back, and would not used his front door unless someone drew him out of the house.  Renay said she found her brother's keys in the back door.

He was disabled and worked on cars, and took care of Renay's dogs while she was at work.  She said she stopped by his house nearly every day, and they talked on the phone as she went to work Friday morning.

"I told him I'll see you this afternoon when I get off work and when I came by that afternoon, he wasn't at home.  I didn't think it was too strange.  Some of the neighbors will give him a ride to certain places," she said.

She said the figured he was out somewhere, so she went home and took a nap.  She tried to check on him later in the evening.

"When I got up, I started to call, I kept calling for him, and he never did answer the phone.  I just thought he was asleep, just in the house, asleep," Renay Stokes said.

At 6:30 Saturday morning, a neighbor woke her to say Garry seemed to be asleep on the front porch, and appeared to have some blood coming out of his mouth and on his shirt.

She got ready to go check on him, and the neighbor returned to inform her that Garry was dead from a stab wound.  She returned, once again, to the house where a loved one was dead.

"We lost our mother May 18, 2012.  My brother is the one that found her in the house and he was still a little depressed from that," she said.

"He missed her a whole lot, and it's just really hard on me because we just recently lost her, and then my brother done died a horrific death like this.  I don't know how much more I can take.  I'm trying my best to stay up on my feet, but it's about to knock me down," she said.

"I'm just trying to stay strong.  I've got to find out what happened to him."

Renee Greer lived across the street for 14 years and said she considered Garry Stokes a brother.

"I lost my [biological] brother a couple of years ago and Garry helped me through that.  Then we lost his mom, and we got through that, and now here I am having to help bury him and it just doesn't seem fair," Greer said.

She and Stokes talked regularly about dogs and football.  She is an Alabama fan, and Stokes' mother Betty was an Auburn fan.  Greer said she and Garry always had fun taunting each other in good friendly fun, and had cook outs together.  She last saw him about 9 p.m. Friday, and at 7 a.m. she saw the paramedics arrive to pronounce Stokes dead.

"It's a wild thing to stand here and know that somebody you talked to a few hours ago is not here anymore.  And it's at someone else's hands.  It's not at God's hands," Greer said.

She pleaded for anyone with information to contact police.

"If anyone knows anything, please help [the Stokes family].  They need all the answers they can get.  Our Gadsden police department needs all the help they can get because Garry's a good guy," she said.

"Please step forward and try to help us, help them solve this because Garry was a really good man.  I loved him and I'm going to miss him dearly," Greer said.

Renay Stokes said she hopes to hold a candlelight vigil in her brother's memory on Thursday or Friday.  ABC 33/40 will update this story when the memorial is scheduled.

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