Dateline | December 13, 2013
>> alabama bureau of investigation detectives terry beasley and jamie martin arrived that night to investigate and found desta byrd dead from a single gunshot wound to the head. jody byrd was saying his wife's worst fears had come true, an intruder had broken in, dragged desta outside, and then killed her with their rifle. to officers, this was now a crime scene .
>> that's when they told jody , "go sit on the porch."
>> by then, desta's brother arrived. in shock, tried to comfort jody and asked officers if he could see his sister's body.
>> and so one of them took me up there.
>> how did she look?
>> frightened. i mean, to me, her facial features, she looked frightened.
>> she ended up being right about the world being a dangerous place.
>> she did.
>> and that's when ty heard it. it was one of the detectives from the abi . ty says he was complaining.
>> one of them kept cussing over and over and over talking about how he was too old for this. he pretty much gave the impression he didn't want to be there.
>> that was your impression of the abi ?
>> yeah. and it hurt.
>> to desta's brother and parents, that comment would mark the first of several times in which they felt dissatisfied with the course and the pace of the investigation. another red flag came when police announced they were done with the crime scene after only about five hours.
>> i said, "are y'all through?" they said, "we're going to come back in the daylight so we can look around outside."
>> it all seemed a little rushed to ty, but he was no policeman, and he still had to break the news to his parents. moncile said her husband, ronny, took the call.
>> dad says, "no, no, no."
>> then he tells you --
>> desta's gone.
>> we couldn't believe it.
>> ty had another call to make. to desta's best friend , christine shattuck.
>> i was in shock. so i jumped in the car, and i went straight to her house.
>> and that whole time you're thinking --
>> that i couldn't imagine that this could be happening. that this has got to be a really, really bad joke.
>> when christine arrived, she went to comfort her friend's husband.
>> i thought this should be very, very hard for him.
>> and now he's all alone.
>> now he's all alone.
>> it did seem hard on jody . at the funeral, he stood vigil over desta's casket.
>> he's on his knees, and he's got his arm draped around the casket. sort of in a guarded position.
>> the whole snunl.
>> -- the whole funeral?
>> the whole funeral.
>> trying to protect her now because he couldn't protect her before?
>> possibly. i think you understand grief, but that's just something i don't think anybody's seen.
>>> that's past grief.
>> that's past grief.
>> after the funeral, jody 's agony only seemed to worsen. desta's father got an alarming fledge jody 's mom. -- message from jody 's mom.
>> she told him that she thought jody was fixing to commit suicide and would he please get on the phone and call him. so reasonny called and asked if he wanted to come to the house and stay for a few days, and he did.
>> desta's family, the dodson, realized jody needed their support. all he talked about was finding whoever had done this, and that was a mystery to everyone. hard to think of her as a murder victim.
>> this wasn't somebody with enemies?
>> and now as the family tried to climb back from the shock of it all, they wanted answers. ty says police didn't return to the crime scene immediately alzheimeras promised. instead, days after the funeral, he says the abi called with a surprising question.
>> "we want to come back out and look around and take some fingerpri fingerprints. has anybody touched anything?"
>> this is seven to ten days after desta's death?
>> right. this was after people had brought food over. we had gone through and cleaned house. you know because of everybody being there.
>> surprising they would wait that long --
>> it was very surprising. i would have thought that before they took the crime tape down that they would have had everything they needed.
>> as they tried to recover, ty says he and his family suddenly had a new worry. of it possible, they wondered, that the death of a beloved wife, daughter, and sister might not be a priority for law enforcement . and could the result be that desta's killer might never be found?
>>> coming up, jody claims to know who might have killed desta. it's a stunning suggestion.