TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa Police are asking for your help to give them the one missing piece of the puzzle that will help them solve who killed a Cottondale man known for helping strangers.
"Man I help everyone around here--always someone stopping wanting to use the phone, gas or whatever." That's what Emmett Kyzer said in 2015 after he was attacked by a stranger who he let in to his house to borrow the phone.
"My rug in there is solid full of blood," Kyzer told us. "Looks like a paint can was turned over. "If I hadn't got help, I would have bled to death."
Just a little over a year later--he disappeared around June 30, 2016.
"He had several relatives that lived close to him and he spoke with them daily, and they didn't get any phone calls from him," said Sgt. Jeremy Franks of the Tuscaloosa Metro Homicide Unit. "So some of his relatives drove by his house to check on him and saw some things like the wheelchair outside the house. You know Emmett would never leave the house without taking his wheelchair, so that right there was odd to them."
For months his family and detectives searched for clues.
"We just don't know," one of his family members told us. "We need some kind of closure on this. If he is alive or if he is dead, we'd just like to know to have some kind of closure."
In March, searchers found skeletal remains in a park near Emmett's home.
"Some of the things found with the remains lead us back to the house," Sgt. Franks says. "Some of the items taken from the house were part of the remains. So we believed that to be Emmett right from the beginning."
Investigators are still waiting on a positive ID on those bones from the state forensics lab but they haven't stopped trying to piece together the last hours he spent at his house. Emmett had a couple staying with him shortly before he disappeared. Could they be involved? Detectives say right now they're only witnesses, not persons of interest. But do detectives think they've interviewed Emmett's killer?
"We feel we have interviewed some of the people who were with Emmett right as he went missing and may have been involved with his murder," Sgt. Franks says. "That's a very close-knit community out there, and Emmett was beloved by a lot of his neighbors and family in that area, so we feel they will come forward and help us on this case.
If you were in the Kings Mill Road area of Cottondale around the end of June of last year, Tuscaloosa investigators want to talk to you. They're hoping someone saw the vehicle that took Emmett away, and that will help them narrow in on their suspect. You can reach the investigator on this case at (205) 464-8626.