‘I hope and pray that we can get justice’: Family of Summer Buzbee speaks out after remains found

Local News

WALKER COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Almost one week after Summer Buzbee’s remains were found in Walker County, her family hopes answers will come soon.

Search teams and volunteers made the discovery in a wooded area near Old Russellville Road last Friday.

“I love her with all my heart and I miss her. I miss her so much,” Summer’s mom Latisha Buzbee said.

According to the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, Summer Buzbee was last seen on surveillance video in west Jasper on December 17.

She had left her job in hopes of seeing her brother after a car accident.

Summer Buzbee was reported missing by her roommate in Saragossa a few days later on Dec. 21, according to Carl Carpenter with WCSO.

While a cause and manner of death have yet to be determined, investigators believe she was the victim of foul play.

Deputies have a person of interest, but no one has been charged.

“I kept hoping she was still alive and I didn’t know my baby had been laying out there this whole time,” Latisha Buzbee said.

Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement and volunteers organized several searches for any sign of the missing woman.

Investigators said Summer Buzbee’s remains and some of her belongings were found near a railroad track and power lines.

Dental records had to be used to positively identify the remains. It’s unclear how long she had been dead.

“They wouldn’t let me go down, because I wanted to go down and see, but we were there,” Latisha Buzbee said.

According to Carpenter, Summer Buzbee and the person of interest had previously been seen in that area.

Family members are full of questions.

“There’s a lot of hurt. There’s a lot of anger. There’s just so many emotions,” Summer’s uncle Lonnie Downs said.

Lonnie Downs and his wife, Azalea, have been trying to comfort Latisha Buzbee during the tragedy.

“I just want her to get the justice and the answers that she is looking for, just so this family can move forward and grieve,” said Azalea Downs.

Family member described Summer Buzbee as kind, outgoing and funny.

“She cared a lot about people. It did not matter who she met. She could walk into a room and just strike up a conversation with anyone,” Azalea Downs said.

Loved ones can’t imagine why someone would harm her.

“For us, we’re going to be having to live with this for the rest of our lives. Somebody took something that was special to us,” Lonnie Downs said.

Investigators continue working to put the puzzle together. Family members believe someone out there has the missing piece that may finally help them heal.

“It would help with us being able to sleep some at night if we knew, if somebody would call and tell anything that they know, I believe Summer deserves that,” Latisha Buzbee said.

With so many unanswered questions, her mother is left to wonder about Summer’s final moments and the future they now won’t share together.

“I can’t eat. Can’t sleep. I have nightmares all night of what she went through, how she died. If she fought,” Latisha Buzbee said.

The Walker County Coroner sent the remains off for an autopsy but was still waiting on preliminary results.

The family is thankful for all of the prayers and support from near and far. In addition to community residents, the Saragossa Volunteer Fire Department, VET DRTI, WCSO and Aniah’s Heart all joined in to help in various searches.

“I can’t even imagine doing all this by myself without help, and I really appreciate it, my whole family does and I think them very very much,” Latisha Buzbee said.

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