Oxford Police, victim's family appeal to public for leads

Sketch of the suspect in the murder of Barbara Exum
Sketch of the suspect in the murder of Barbara Exum


Oxford police and family members of a murder victim are appealing to the public to solve a murder case.

The victim, Barbara Exum, was assistant manager at Papa John's Pizza in the Colonnade Shopping Center on Snow Street in Oxford.  She was shot to death late the night of Friday, September 9 during a robbery at the store.

The Papa John's chain and Governor Robert Bentley's office have each put up $5,000 in reward money, totalling $10,000 for the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

Police admit they have no leads and that's why they're appealing publicly.

"Somebody out there knows something," Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge said.  "It could be just a small piece of the puzzle that would fit this entire thing together to help bring this individual to justice."

Family members call Barbara Exum's death senseless.  They say they hope the Internet helps track down the killer, shown in the police sketch above.

"It doesn't have to be here in Alabama that they think they see this person or they know someone who looks like them or they heard something," the victims's daughter, Dawn Cimato said.  "It could be anywhere.  So, I mean that's one great thing about the Internet these days."

Cimato recalls her mother as someone who would help anyone.

"She wasn't just a mom to me.  But evidently she was even a mom to everybody else too, and they even called her 'Mama.'"

The suspect is described as between five feet six and five feet eight inches tall, wide shoulders but slight build, raspy voice, in his early to mid 20's.  Police say he was wearing a camoflauge bandana during the robbery and shooting, and that's how he's depicted in the sketch.

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