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Stabbing in '98 left woman dead; killer never found
Gainesville Police Department investigator Bryan Majors stands in front of a house on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. where a female was found dead with multiple stab wounds on Dec. 12, 1998. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

About this series

This is part of a weekly series on unsolved murders in Hall County. Anyone with information should call the Gainesville Police Department Criminal Investigations Division tip line at 770-533-5873.

Almost 12 years ago, Annie Lou Hughey was found dead inside her home. Gainesville Police Department investigators are still looking for clues.

About 8:30 a.m. Dec. 12, 1998, Hughey’s daughter found her on the floor of the living room, just inside the door. Susan Williams had left the home — then 708 Myrtle St., now 2110 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. — just minutes before at 8:23 a.m. She returned home and found her mother with stab wounds.

“There were no signs of a break in, but robbery appeared to be the motive,” Investigator Bryan Majors said. “Items were moved and missing.”

Paramedics arrived at the home first, after Williams called in a medical emergency, but they contacted investigators when they saw multiple stab marks, a kitchen knife and blood on the scene.

“We had some leads. There were several persons of interest who we interviewed, but nothing worked out,” Majors said.

The home, which still sits on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, is only recently vacant. The crime scene hasn’t changed much, but police are opening up the cold case again.

The early- to mid-1990s was a violent time in Gainesville’s history. There were eight murders in 1995, and nine murders the previous year. In recent years, Gainesville and Hall County have averaged two or three murders a year.

“Her daughter didn’t have any clues about what happened, but I believe someone knows,” Majors said. “I feel confident that someone has clues and needs to come forward.”

Majors said he couldn’t reveal more information about the still pending case, but he hopes someone will speak up after all these years.

“She was big on continuing to grow personally and was active in the church,” said Doris Hughey, another daughter who lives in Maryland and wasn’t in Gainesville in 1998. “She participated in a lot of clubs to help improve the community.”

Annie Hughey was known for her yard decorations, especially during the holidays.

“Christmas was a big thing for her,” Doris Hughey said. “A few days before she was killed, she called me and said someone stole a reindeer from the yard, and we laughed about it. I remember she got an award one time for having the best decorations on the block.”