“Our families, we don't want revenge to whoever did this,” Rebecca Porter’s son Corey Ellsworth said. “We are about grace and mercy. We don't seek revenge but we do seek justice.” For a year Rebecca and Russell Porter’s families sought justice. Rebecca Porter’s children say they feel her presence assuring them she's okay but her death left a large hole in her large family. “Knowing that person is still out there, you almost have to come to peace with it because there is nothing you can do about it,” Ellsworth said. “You have to patient for the answers to come. They will come.”
Russell Porter’s mother's home sits next to the home where the couple disappeared. “There are times I look out my front door or try to sit on the porch and I can't,” Kay Simmons said. Russell Porter’s death took away a son and brother. “He will always be my little baby brother no matter what,” Russell Porter’s sister Paula Gary said. “Some days go and it's like nothing today, nothing today, will there ever be?” Gary said. “We have a faith in Greene County and in God that we will be seeing some justice.”
In an effort to ensure the family and the public the case is far from cold, Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott told reporters the lead detective alone wrote 280 reports. “It’s not just empty paper. This is a small portion,” Arnott said while pointing to a large stack of large binders. “This is about half of the case files. There are 25 volumes of investigative reports.”
Officers collected 250 pieces of evidence. “There is no road block,” Arnott said. “In a criminal investigation, unfortunately we don't dictate the time that it takes. Sheriff's deputies are currently investigating five unsolved homicides. “I don't want to talk about those other cases today,” Arnott said. “Today I want to talk about the Porter investigation. I really strongly feel that justice will be served.”
Someone did give investigators a reliable tip that led a Taney County deputy to the couple's bodies near rural Protem. Arnott said because of the ongoing investigation he can't reveal who that person is or if they stopped talking. “We ask you continue to pray for our family,” Ellsworth said. “Pray whoever did this be brought to justice.” Arnott says detectives do have several persons of interests but would not say how many.
Detectives are investigating the murder of three other individuals in Greene County. Don and Helen Willingham were stabbed to death inside their home south of Springfield on April 25th of last year. This year someone killed James Richardson. Detectives discovered his body last month in the James River. Anyone with information on any case can call the Greene County Sheriff's Office at 417-868-4040.