Another year passes as Selma family waits answer to son’s murder

Family of slain Selma man seeks answers

SELMA, AL (WSFA) - Takisha Irby stopped on River Road near the scene for the first time where her nephew, 17-year-old Derrick Nichols, was found dead. Hunters found the body in the woods. It was late November of 2016.

“It hurt," said Irby. She can only imagine what her loved one’s final moments on Earth were like. “Like riding down the road put a funny feeling in me," she admitted.

Takisha Irby, Derrick Nichols' aunt, stopped on River Road near the crime scene for the first time where he was found dead. She says she can only imagine what his last moments were like.
Takisha Irby, Derrick Nichols' aunt, stopped on River Road near the crime scene for the first time where he was found dead. She says she can only imagine what his last moments were like. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

At the time, family members told WSFA 12 News Nichols had been shot eight times, five of those shots were to his head. They believe he was killed at another location and brought to the wooded area, but no one knows why.

Hunters found Derrick Nichols' body in the woods off River Road in late November 2016. He'd been shot multiple times in the head.
Hunters found Derrick Nichols' body in the woods off River Road in late November 2016. He'd been shot multiple times in the head. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“It’s been hard," Irby said of the stress, the waiting.

The irony surrounding Nichols' murder is that he moved to Birmingham to get away from a bad crowd in Selma. He had plans to go back to school and get a job. But one weekend changed it all, the very weekend he decided to visit his mom. What happened next while he was in town remains a mystery.

“He came back to visit her and he wasn’t here even a week,” Irby recalled.

Five months ago, Gov. Kay Ivey posted a $5,000 reward for any information that would lead to the arrest and conviction in Nichols’ death. So far, nothing has developed. Selma investigators say they’ve run into a roadblock. No one will talk, no witnesses willing to come forward, no arrest, no known motive.

Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier says he’s already reached out to a federal agency for assistance in the investigation.

“He called me and he was like, ‘I love you’ and I said ‘I love you, too,’ and that was our last conversation," Irby added.

Nichols would’ve turned 19 this month. Instead of celebrating another birthday, his family is left wondering how much longer they’ll have to live without closure.

Derrick Nichols' body was found off River Road in Selma in November of 2016. To date, there's been no arrest and no motive.
Derrick Nichols' body was found off River Road in Selma in November of 2016. To date, there's been no arrest and no motive. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

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