'You never get it out of your mind,' father speaks out on 31st anniversary of his daughter's murder

November 18th marks 31 years since Tonya Pickett and her step-father Ricky Mustard were shot and killed in their Brazil, Indiana home. Pickett's father shares the importance of speaking out even on such an emotional day.

Posted: Nov 18, 2019 5:18 PM

BRAZIL, Ind. (WTHI) - After more than three decades, a father is still searching for answers.

31-years ago, Tonya Pickett and her step-father Ricky Mustard were shot and killed in their Brazil, Indiana home.

Pickett's father spoke with News 10 for the first time last year, after three decades of silence.

Now, he hopes by continuing to share his daughter's story, it will bring them one step closer to justice.

November 18th, 1988.

That's the day Tonya Pickett and her step-father Ricky Mustard were murdered.

To this day, there's still been no official conviction.

While time does heal, Pickett's father said not having answers never gets easier.

"As it approaches this time of year, you never get it out of your mind. You know you think about it at different points in the year," said Norval Pickett.

This case remained cold until 2003 when Indiana State Police re-opened the case.

That's when John Lovett, the boyfriend of Tonya Pickett, was arrested.

Charges were eventually dropped, and Lovett was released.

Pickett's father said he knows his daughter's killer is still out there.

"I'm not sure what you're even supposed to feel like if there's so called closure. You know, all you know is that there's semblance of justice that the guilty person or persons involved is brought to justice," said Pickett.

For both the Pickett and the Mustard family, they hope justice will eventually be served.

"I'm hanging in there until the long run thinking I can't die yet, because the guilty person hasn't been found, or arrested," said Pickett.

That's why he continues to share this story, even on such a difficult day.

He said even the smallest amount of information could change things.

"Maybe someone has picked up the news, or watched the news, or whatever that didn't last year. Someone totally unknown that comes forward with information that they didn't even realize was relevant," said Pickett.

If you have any information that could help in this case, you're asked to contact the Indiana State Police, or the Brazil City Police.

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