Posted Online: July 03, 2013, 7:13 pm

Family still hopes for justice 10 years after Knapton's death

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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com

The candles no longer burn, but the family of Jone Knapton remember her in other ways.

Authorities believe Mrs. Knapton was killed July 4, 2003. Parts of her body were found in the Green River north of Geneseo on July 10, 2003.

No one has been arrested for the killing, Master Sgt. Chris Endress, of the Illinois State Police, said.

In years past, the family held candlelight vigils for Mrs. Knapton, but now they choose to resurrect some customary family Fourth of July activities. It always was a big holiday to the family before Mrs. Knapton's death, her sister, Lisa Mickelson, said.

"The three days -- the third, the fourth and the fifth -- we all spend together," Ms. Mickelson said, adding that several family members will be running in the Genesis Firecracker Run."Jone always did that."

The family raised $40,000 in donations for a reward for information leading to a break in the case, but there have been no arrests, and the family has stopped taking money, she said.

The family is frustrated the investigation has not made more headway, Ms. Mickelson said, adding they would rather see a trial and have the defendant be found innocent than have no trial at all."We're all willing to take that chance."

Larry Knapton, Mrs. Knapton's husband, was named as a primary suspect in the investigation by Mrs. Knapton's daughter, Nicole, in a 2003 order for protection against her father.

The Knaptons filed for divorce in April 2003.

Mr. Knapton was arrested on Lake County child pornography charges, but a 2007 trial ended in a mistrial, and authorities said at the time they would not refile charges. The pornography reportedly was found on Mr. Knapton's computer when a search warrant was issued in connection with the investigation of his wife's death.

Master Sgt. Endress declined to discuss evidence or potential suspects or persons of interest in her murder.

He said he knows the family is frustrated, but authorities are doing everything they can to get justice for Ms. Knapton.

The state police and Henry County State's Attorney's Office do not believe there is enough evidence to take the case forward at the moment, Master Sgt. Endress said.

"We certainly welcome new leads coming in," he said.

Anyone with information concerning the death of Mrs. Knapton is asked to contact Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities at 309-762-9500.