"He was a very kind and loving man. He had a wonderful sense of humor."
Ruscenda Jackson has fond memories of her brother who lived in one neighborhood for more than a decade. To people here on Holly Hill, he was the man who could fix a bike.
"Children in the area would come by and have problems with their bikes and he'd fix it for them for free."
Renard Jackson may have been helping others when he disappeared last fall.
"It was reported he was going to pay bills and he was running a couple of errands."
But, he never paid those bills. He vanished just a few days after Thanksgiving.
"Everyday's a struggle."
His daughter passed out flyers, and police canvassed the neighborhood. Divers searched Crystal Lake Park and other lakes because of a tip.
Helicopters were used to search along roads and ditches, but nothing led police to Jackson. Four months later, his body was found buried under debris in a yard next to his own home.
"It would suggest whoever put him there had the ability or knowledge to know that there was a vacant house and he could easily be put there without being detected, without being seen."
Investigators are working on several theories. Robbery is one possible motive. Others are in the case file. Sgt. Griffet is hopeful evidence at the crime scene will point them in the right direction.
"There is potential evidence that has been gathered and that's still being processed and looked at by the crime lab."
Information from the public would also help. The Jackson family is urging people to share what they know. And, as they prepare for a holiday which will never be the same, they'd be thankful for even the smallest detail.
"If this was your loved one, you'd want someone to come forward. You'd want some answers just like we want answers."
"I don't care how trivial, how small it may be. I'm asking you to please come forward and help us with this case because we need some closure."
Investigators interviewed several people of interest and say no one's been ruled in or out. They could even be looking for more than one suspect. That's why more information from the public is so vital in this case.
If you know what happened to 49-year old Renard Jackson, call police. You can remain anonymous and may earn a cash reward.
Champaign County Crime Stoppers
(217) 373 - TIPS
Text: Tip397 + info to CRIMES (274637)