Widow seeks answers for husband's 1971 Flint murder

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FLINT (WJRT) - (03/07/18) - "I know that this is on paper a cold case. It's not a cold case for me. It never has been," said Cindy West Woerner.

Woerner says she remembers the moment she learned her husband had been shot in the abdomen like it was yesterday.

Woerner, along with her late husband's family and friends, reached out for the public's help Wednesday.

Patrick West was just 25 and had been married a short time when he was shot at what used to be the 7-Eleven on Layton Boulevard and Western Road. He would later die in the hospital.

"She called and said 'now don't get upset but pat's been shot,'" Woerner remembered her sister's words to her on December 23, 1971.

When she married Patrick in June, she could not have imagined that something like this would happen only 6 months later. Police say he was working a double shift at the 7-Eleven when two black men came in looking for cash.

"It wasn't until they walked around next to the cash register that he stood up and they didn't say anything. They just pulled the gun up and shot him," Woerner said.

Patrick never lost consciousness and calmly told a co-worker to hand over money from the register. She did, and the men got away.

"He spent 75 agonizing days in intensive care and then he died," Woerner said.

Patrick's friend Bill Covert also called for justice at the press conference Wednesday.

"Ironically, he wanted to be a public defender. He would've been the guy that might've defended these people that killed him, but that's the kind of guy he was. He always wanted to give people a fair shake," Covert said.

Patrick served in Vietnam and was dedicated to his community. He also took on the responsibility of looking after his nine siblings.

"Even though I lost both of my parents at a very young age, I think I was impacted by Pat's loss more than anything because he invested in me more than my own mother did," said Francene Dale, Patrick's sister.

Cindy brought a personal symbol of their love as a good luck charm to, hopefully, finally get the answers to solve Patrick's murder. She believes the men who killed him are still alive.

"They know who they are. I'm asking for them to be honest and tell the truth and be responsible. I'm asking if anybody in their communities, in their neighborhood knows something to please say something," Woerner said.

Woerner has doubled Crime Stoppers' cash reward from $2,500 to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest. Remember, you can remain anonymous. The number to call is 1-800-422-JAIL.

You can see two billboards for Patrick on Detroit and Coldwater in Flint.

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