Clarksville mother, Felicia Carson, was found brutally murdered in her home more than 25 years ago.
“I remember when we left that morning our mom was sitting on the couch, and she told us to have a good day,” Emily Carson, her daughter, recalled. “We walked out to the bus stop like normal.”
Emily and her brother made a gruesome discovery when they returned home from school January 12, 1996.
“When I got home, I had noticed what I know now was blood on the door. And, I opened the door, and I dropped my backpack, and I was like ‘mom, I’m home’. And there was just no response,” Emily Carson said.
Eventually, the two discovered a sight no child should ever have to see: their mother in her bedroom with 72 incision and stab wounds.
“There was blood on the wall, you know, and the only reason I did not see her that day was because of my brother. He’s the one that found her,” Emily Carson said.
Emily Carson was seven-years-old at the time of her mother’s murder, and her brother was 11-years-old.
“To me, I don’t understand why somebody would do that,” Emily Carson said. “And especially because I feel like if it’s someone that knew her would know that her children would come home to what happened. It’s so horrible.”
Now, a quarter-century has passed, and Clarksville Police are renewing their efforts to find answers.
“I think it’s clear their lives were changed forever that day. Her oldest son is actually the same age as me, and I can’t imagine being an 11-year-old, and coming home from school, and finding your mother brutally murdered. and having to be the one to see that. I think those images are probably burned into his memory, unfortunately,” Clarksville Police Department Homicide Detective Keenan Carlton said.
According to police, Carson had been out with friends at the Red Carpet Lounge the night before, on January 11, 1996. She got a ride home with a friend around midnight and saw her children off to school the next morning. Then she was killed at her home on Hadley Drive sometime before they returned home around 3:30 p.m.
But what would drive someone to stab this mother 72 times?
“That’s certainly a lot of rage. It’s obviously the result of an intensely emotional state of mind, which most detectives will tell you, something that violent is probably someone she knew prior to the murder.” Detective Carlton added, “Although the scenario of a complete stranger is not ruled out either.”
The murder weapon was never recovered.
As for Carson’s children, the two went to live with their father in Michigan.
Now, investigators ask anyone with information on the case, including what relationships Carson might have been in, to come forward.
For her children, it’s a personal plea for help.
“Our family has gone over 25 years without answers as to why somebody would do this,” Emily Carson said. “I need the answers, I don’t just want them, I need them for myself so maybe eventually I can work toward healing, I guess you could say, because I don’t think there will ever be closure from this.”
Carson was also in the process of going through nursing school while taking care of her children. They still have family in Tennessee today.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to reach out to the Clarksville Police Department’s Special Operations Homicide Unit at 931-648-0656 ext. 5042.
If you have an unsolved Tennessee murder or missing persons case you’d like for Nikki to investigate, email NMcGee@wkrn.com.