Reva Perkins

Reva Perkins

Lincoln County, Mo. - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has breathed life into one of the oldest active unsolved murder cases in Lincoln County.

On June 23, the MHSP’s Division of Drug and Crime Control - Troop C announced the reopening of a cold case involving the 1986 stabbing death of Reva Perkins.

Perkins was a 26-year-old mother of two children from Elsberry who was attacked in her trailer on Chestnut Street in Hawk Point while they were sleeping in the home. The children were unharmed.

MSHP Criminal Investigator Jason Ashby said, despite the fact 35 years have passed since the murder, this ice-cold case investigation has heated up.

“After reviewing the Reva Perkins case and several other ‘cold cases,’ myself and other investigators determined the Perkins case is solvable,” Ashby said. “The investigators in 1986 laid a solid foundation and did a great job.

“However, we feel more work can be done and with advances in technology, we can bring this case to a successful conclusion for Reva, her family and the Lincoln County community.”

Perkins suffered a single stab wound during her altercation inside her trailer, according to the autopsy, which was released to the public back in 1986 by then Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney Edward Grewach. She was then able to stumble from her trailer to a neighbor’s trailer, where she collapsed on the front porch around 11 p.m.

Even though the children were in the trailer at the time of the homicide, Ashby said they were very young at the time and he and detectives are going over all possible motives for Perkins’ murder.

“Reva’s children were very young at the time of this horrific crime and were sleeping at the time it took place. We are keeping an open mind and will investigate all possible motives and leads in this case,” Ashby said. “I have spoken to Reva Perkins’ children and will be meeting with them in person. They no longer live in the area.

“I am unaware of any other living family members, but this will be discussed with Reva’s


Ashby said all cases, especially the Perkins case, need to be brought to a conclusion - and the offenders need to be brought to justice, no matter how long they’ve been on the run.

“Regardless of how old a case is, it’s our duty and obligation to investigate and bring these cases to successful ending, if possible,” he said. “It is important that people be held accountable for their actions, even if it was 35 years ago.”

Anyone with information on this case can reach Ashby at (636) 300-2800, or

“I encourage anyone with any knowledge about this case to contact me,” he said. “Regardless of how small or unimportant you may think your information is, it could help bring this case to a favorable conclusion.”