EXCLUSIVE: Witness to 45-year-old cold case comes forward for the first time, speaks about 9-year-old girl’s abduction, murder

‘I’ve had nightmares about it forever!’

In 1972, Debbie Lynn Randall, 9, was abducted, beaten, raped, and murdered less than half a mile away from her apartment in Marietta, Georgia. For 45 years, a witness, who was a little girl herself when she saw the abduction, hasn’t spoken out—until now.

Sandra, who describes herself as “once a street kid,” spoke exclusively to Nancy Grace about Debbie. Sandra was just 12 years old when she witnessed a man in a black pickup truck get out of his vehicle, grab Debbie, and force her into the truck.

Sandra, who thought maybe the man was a family member, admitted that she snickered and thought to herself that Debbie was being punished after doing something she shouldn’t have.

ORIGINAL Story: Debbie Lynn Randall: Georgia Cold Case Unit determined to solve 45-yr-old murder

The next day, when Sandra realized that Debbie was missing, she told police what she saw. She never volunteered anymore information and it’s been haunting her ever since. After her sister told her that the case had reopened, Sandra decided it was time to come forward, no matter how many years had passed.

“My sister works for Cobb County jail and she told me the case had been reopened. And I thought it had been closed a long time ago,” Sandra said while fighting back tears. “And I told her that I saw it happen. And she said, ‘well, somebody might be calling you to get in touch with you.’ And I said, ‘OK.’ And that’s when was she [my sister] talking to a detective. And I called her one day, and she put a him [a detective] the phone, and he asked me if I would be willing to talk to Detective Nix.”

Detective Morris Nix, who’s retired and now volunteers his time solving cold cases with the Cobb County Cold Case Unit in Marietta, has been working on the Debbie Randall case for decades. He said the case is personal to him and he vowed to never stop looking until the killer is found.

Possible composite sketch of suspect believed to have kidnapped Debbie in 1972. [Feature Photo: Cobb Cold Case Unit]
What We Know About the Suspect:

  • White male with medium build
  • Wore long pants and a shirt
  • Drove a black pickup truck
  • May have taken Debbie to the now-closed business, Dixie Cast and Stone, in Marietta
  • Numerous day laborers worked at Dixie Cast and Stone, possibly including the suspect
  • The suspect may have worked at Dixie Cast and Stone anywhere from 1968-1974

In this episode of Crime Stories with Nancy Grace, both Sandra and Nix discuss the mysterious, unsolved cold case of Debbie Lynn Randall.

Anyone with any information is urged to call the Cobb County Cold Case Unit at 770-528-3032.

[Feature Photo: Cobb County Cold Case Unit]