WSPD solicits help to solve cold case

WSPD solicits help to solve cold case
September 20
03:00 2018

The Winston-Salem Police Department is asking for help solving the murder of 66-year-old Jack Atkins, who was killed in his home last summer.

On July 18, 2017, a co-worker went to Atkins’ apartment, located at 133 Columbine Drive, after he had missed work the day before and didn’t respond to phone calls. Upon arrival, the co-worker found Atkins lying inside the apartment stabbed to death and immediately called 911.

According to Det. Christopher Rakes with the Winston-Salem Police Department, aside from a small table that had been moved, Atkins’ apartment had not been touched. Police also searched Atkins’ car and found nothing missing. Det. Rakes said he doesn’t believe robbery was a motive. The only thing missing from the apartment was his wallet.

“His cell phone was still there, TV was still there, it didn’t seem like nothing was tampered with inside the apartment to make it look like a robbery of any kind,” he said.

Those who knew him well described Atkins as a caring person who was always willing to lend a helping hand. Atkins’ daughter Tonya Atkins described her father as a generous, kind person who loved helping people.

“He helped friends, family, even people who he didn’t know. He wanted to help people be the best person they could be,” she continued. “… I can’t imagine why anybody would want to hurt him because he was very well liked. I didn’t know of anyone who didn’t like him.”

Two days after Atkins was discovered in his apartment, his ATM card was used twice, once in Lexington and again in Mocksville. Police have photos of the person who used the card but are unable to identify them.

Det. Rakes said although they don’t know if the person in the photos committed the crime, they are definitely a person of interest. He said, “This person is definitely a subject of interest, but we can’t definitely say that he is a suspect in the murder of Jack based on the timeline of when Jack’s last known communication was.

“… It is not uncommon sometimes if somebody did steal his wallet during their interaction, discarded this wallet. This wallet could have been picked up by somebody or the person who took his wallet could have just given his wallet to somebody else. So there’s a lot of unknowns with what happened to the wallet in this 48 hour period.”

Anyone with information on the death of Jack Atkins contact Crime Stoppers at (336) 727-2800 or on Facebook at Crime Stoppers of Winston-Salem. If your information leads to an arrest you could receive a $5,000 reward.

The video released by the Winston-Salem Police Department soliciting help on this case and other cold cases can be viewed on the City of Winston-Salem’s channel on

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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