Family members of an Earlsboro man murdered in Pottawatomie County in 1983 traveled to Oklahoma this week and are pleading for anyone with information in the unsolved case to contact authorities.

Family members of an Earlsboro man murdered in Pottawatomie County in 1983 traveled to Oklahoma this week and are pleading for anyone with information in the unsolved case to contact authorities.

The family of Paul Richard Jones visited the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office and met Undersheriff Travis Palmer, who keeps the thick case file for the decades-old homicide case in his office.

Jones was 20 years old when he was found stabbed to death at his home. His wife, Melody (Garton) Jones, 19, disappeared.

For 32 years now, the homicide and missing persons case has remained unsolved.

Palmer hopes publicizing the case once again might bring new tips and leads that could help deputies solve the mystery.

“I want to solve this case … somebody knows something,” Palmer said. “Guilt is a terrible burden to carry. There is no way this murder was carried out without someone knowing, being involved or helping."

Some of Paul’s family members, who now live overseas, agree that after nearly 33 years, anyone with information should come forward.

“I think of Paul every day and hope his case gets solved,” said Paul’s mother, Marge Jones.

While there have been many changes in administration at the sheriff’s office since 1983, Palmer said the case file has had more than a dozen investigators working on it over the years. With no new leads in quite a while, the undersheriff hopes new tips might provide the missing piece of the investigative puzzle.

“Someone knows that piece of evidence,” he said. “Any piece of the puzzle that keeps us going is what we’re trying to find.”

According to news archives, on May 4, 1983, Melody (Garton) Jones spent the day fishing with her family. Her 18-year-old brother gave her a ride home and dropped her off at the rural Earlsboro home she shared with her husband. He reportedly saw the door ajar with lights on inside.

On the morning of May 5, 1983, Melody didn’t show up for work at the Dairy Queen in Seminole. Her mother, now deceased, went to Melody’s home and discovered her son-in-law’s body. Melody wasn’t there, but all of her personal belongings, including her purse and eyeglasses, were found inside. The couple’s car was parked in the driveway.

The home, which has long since burned down following a grass fire, was located one-half mile west of SH 9A on Benson Park Road.

At that time, Paul Abel was the sheriff of Pottawatomie County. His office, along with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, probed the case as a murder and kidnapping, news archives show. Deputies searched the area around the home on foot and horseback, covering 160 acres, while a search by helicopter covered a 6-square-mile area. They found no sign of Melody or any clues.

Melody Jones, who would be 51 years old today, is listed online in the NameUS Missing Persons database.

In recent years, remains found as far away as Kentucky have been ruled out as possibly belonging to Melody, the undersheriff said.

Palmer, who said it’s possible after all these years that someone’s conscience might weigh on them, hopes anyone with information about this case will contact him at (405) 275-2526, ext. 111.