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Family Waits for Justice 15 Years After Knox Co. Man's Murder

KNOX COUNTY (Ken Hines) -- Family members hope renewed interest in their loved one's death can lead to a break in the investigation into his 1998 murder.

The body of Jim Stulka was found badly decomposed in the trunk of his car at a nature preserve in rural Coshocton. Stulka was killed by a single gunshot to the head.

Stulka had been missing for 10 days before his body was discovered. He was last seen leaving a Mount Vernon bar where he worked.

"I was certain Jim was somewhere trying to get his head on straight," his mother Jolene Stulka said. "It was the last thing in the world I would think, that he wasn't with us, that anyone would murder Jim."

Jim -- who left behind a wife and twin boys -- struggled with addictions to alcohol and pain killers before his death, according to his mother.

"He could not control that drinking problem," she said.

No arrests have been made in connection with Jim's murder. The investigation has been hampered by jurisdictional issues as authorities attempted to determine if the murder occurred in Knox or Coshocton County.

"At this point in time, we believe this case is solvable, with some help from the community," Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent Eric Lenhart said.

Jim's family members hope increased media exposure will result in information that leads to the closure of the case.

"Fifteen years, playing on someone's conscience, might loosen them up to where they want to say something," Jim's father, Bob, said. "This needs to be resolved in fairness and justice to Jim. Not to us, to our son."
 
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