Family still searching for answers one year after brother’s murder
by Rachael Griffin
rgriffin@annistonstar.com
Dec 27, 2012 | 6201 views |  0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Douglas Crawford
Douglas Crawford
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One year to the day after the death of her younger brother, Ruby Fuller still feels the sting of fresh grief. Fuller said she and her family want answers to the many questions surrounding the violent death of James Douglas “Doug” Crawford of Clay County.

The area in Ashland where Crawford lived is a small community where “no one seems to want to talk,” Fuller said. “We’re at the point where we can’t get anyone to talk about it. It’s like it never even happened,” she said through her tears.

Today homicide investigators are attempting to piece together evidence related to Crawford’s death.

Crawford, 54, was shot to death on Dec. 28, 2011, in his home on Mack Crawford Road in Ashland, according to Clay County Coroner Dale Rush.

One year ago, Clay County authorities responded to a reported house fire at Crawford’s residence, where they discovered Crawford’s body. When Rush entered the home, he believed Crawford’s death was fire-related. Upon examining the body, Rush said he discovered gunshot wounds. “We found obvious wounds that were not self-inflicted,” Rush said.

Clay County Sheriff Ray Latham said the investigation of Crawford’s death is ongoing and the case is in no way considered cold, but that forensic evidence takes time to process and return. Latham said the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, Alabama Fire Marshals, Alabama Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation are working together on the case.

The sheriff said he could not comment on possible suspects.

Crawford is survived by his mother, three brothers, two sisters and three children.

Fuller described her younger brother as an outdoorsman. He loved fishing and hunting, and he never wanted to be cooped up, she said. She said nothing got her brother down and he was “real happy-go-lucky.” That’s the reason Fuller said no one ever thought this could happen to him.

Fuller said her mother, Francis Crawford, 81, asks every day from her assisted-living residence at NHC Place in Anniston if investigators have any new information. Fuller wants justice for everyone who knew her brother, but especially for her aging mother.

“Someone did it and they’re just getting away with murder,” Fuller said.

Staff Writer Rachael Griffin: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @RGriffin_Star.

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