Family waits for accused killer to stand trial for crime committed after murder

A Memphis mother claims a missed opportunity kept a killer free
Patricia Mason (middle) and her grandchidren. The child on the right was kidnapped by Raymond Clark. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Patricia Mason (middle) and her grandchidren. The child on the right was kidnapped by Raymond Clark. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
The victim and accused murderer. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
The victim and accused murderer. (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A grieving Mid-South family still waiting for justice was devastated to learn what could have been done to catch an accused killer before he had a chance to attack again.

"I'm not healing. I'm not healing until justice is done," Patricia Mason said.

Mason is the mother of Zeneatrice Crawford, who was killed on June 4, 2016. She said she spoke with her daughter's killer the same day he committed the crime.

"What do I think? That I need to kill this man myself," Mason said.

Raymond Clark, Crawford's accused killer, is behind bars in another state on unrelated charges.

Mason said Clark was was driving her daughter's car, a blue Buick Verano.

"I didn't see nothing but blood. Clogs of blood. Clogs of blood," Mason said.

She saw a small child in the backseat and heard the voice of her 10-year-old granddaughter coming from the trunk of the car.

But there was no sign of Crawford--other than the crime scene inside her car.

Mason said Clark took off in the Buick with the children still inside.

"I'm about to call the police. You done killed my child," Mason said.

Family members called police and officers began their search for Clark, 10-year-old Kaniyah, and a 6-year-old family friend.

No one knew what had happened to Kaniyah's mother until the children showed up hours later at a home on Whitney Avenue.

Inside of a vacant house, just feet away from a church, is where the family said Clark tied up two children and left them. The family said it was with the help of God that the girls were able to escape out of a window and go find help.

"God was able to give her granddaughter the sense to guide her and my niece out of the home to make it to a safe place to get away," family friend Keva Partee said.

Crawford's daughter then lead police to her mother's body dumped behind the house from which she escaped. She'd been stabbed 57 times. Her alleged killer, Raymond Clark, was nowhere to be found, but he was believed to be driving Crawford's car.

Crawford's family said they told officers the car was equipped with OnStar technology and that it could be tracked.

OnStar provides several security features if a car is stolen, including the ability to lock the ignition or slow down a car if it's moving.

But police didn't find Crawford's car until two days later. It was parked in a busy neighborhood outside Atlanta--nearly 400 miles away.

"I don't believe that car was ever cut off by OnStar. I don't believe Memphis, Tennessee, police ever stopped that car," Crawford said.

A spokesperson for Memphis Police Department told the WMC Action News 5 Investigators the department "cannot reveal anything about the use of OnStar as this is an ongoing investigation."

OnStar representatives said they do assist police in tracking vehicles when an agency makes that request, but the vehicle must have an active connection. Once it's activated, OnStar can still assist police in an emergency.

Crawford never activated OnStar, thus making the security feature worthless and allowing her alleged killer to not only get away, but also strike again, according to authorities in Georgia.

"You go to a whole other state, to do this to another woman," Partee said.

Investigators in Dekalb County, Georgia, arrested Clark nearly two months after Crawford's death for allegedly raping, physically assaulting, and kidnapping another woman.

"I could have got him faster than that doing it the hood way," Mason said.

While Clark faces a murder charge in the death of Zaneatrice Crawford, the rape charge in Georgia is serious enough that investigators there want to prosecute first. This means Crawford's family must continue to wait for justice 10 months after the loss of their loved one.

"I'm going to get you Raymond Clark. I'm going to get you. I'm going to do it without Memphis, Tennessee, or with them," Mason said.

Patricia Mason said her grandchildren--Zaneatrice's twins--are doing well considering the circumstances. They're seeing a therapist and are surrounded by a loving family.

No word on when Raymond Clark's Georgia charges will be heard in court.

Don't count on the OnStar security feature working in your car if you don't activate it. Once it's activated, even if you cancel the service, OnStar can still assist police in an emergency.

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