Wife of Murder Victim Speaks Out

Southworth Murder
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The $50,000 reward posted by Jim Southworth's family and friends is still being offered to whomever can produce the information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

On November 23rd, 2001, Southworth was murdered on land he owned, and had been in his family for generations.

Southworth's wife Janis said Wednesday was her first trip back to her husband's land near Neillsville. She's hoping to help put this case to rest by uncovering an important piece of information.

"The only people who have not been identified at this point are the three Asians who were seen out here that day," she said.

Witnesses report seeing the men standing near a truck by the dead end bridge on Fairhaven Avenue. The sheriff doesn't consider them suspects, but people of interest.

"Someone out there has information on this matter, please come forth, let us know," said Clark County Sheriff Louis Rosandich.

"We want to solve this thing."

Southworth went hunting by himself that Friday afternoon. After hours without hearing from him, his brother and sister and law started an all-night search.

Officers found his body 200 yards from his tree stand the next morning.

"Put yourself in our shoes," Janis Southworth said, "because you wouldn't want that to happen to your husband to your son or brother or your father."

"Our life has to go on, but Jim's death can't go unanswered."

Meanwhile, she's been trying to get help from the Asian community and anyone else who will listen since early May by way of a letter, faxes, and phone calls.

Here are officers' descriptions of these possible witnesses:

The first subject is described as being 5 feet to 5 feet 4 inches wearing a blaze orange jacket and orange hat. It is unknown whether this particular person is male or female, adult or child.

The second subject is described as being 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall with a slender build, having short black hair and being dark complected.

The third subject is described as beeing 5 feet 10 inches tall to 6 feet tall, weighing 150 to 170 pounds and having a slender build. This subject is described as having a very thin face, and was wearing a dark colored, button-up shirt. This individual was also described as having short black hair and being dark complected.

There was no hunting attire being worn by the second and third subjects.

The truck witnesses report seeing parked on Fairhaven Avenue is described as a silver gray or off-white Nissan or Chevy S-10-type truck, unknown exact model, possibly a late 80's. Witnesses viewing the truck from a distance described the truck as being a solid color with no designes, but one witness described it as possibly having a light tan, beige or off-white stripe on the side panel. The truck was also described as being low to the ground, with a light colored fiberglass topper, possibly having a tan or beige stripe along the side of it.

If you have information on the subjects, truck, or the case in general, call the Clark County Sheriff's Department at (800) 743-2420.