Murder case remains cold after 13 years, family begs for justice

The murder of Freweini Gebremicael
Posted at 10:02 PM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-07 23:16:53-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Mother’s Day is just days away and Rutta Simon had all the fixings Tuesday evening to make sure the celebration was perfect for her mother.

“My mom was a loving person, very outgoing, the heart of gold,” said Simon.

Freweini “Winnie” Gebremicael was brutally murdered 13 years ago.

Winnie and her family escaped a war-torn country in east Africa, became refugees in Sudan and finally Americans settling here in Nashville.

“My mom was an amazing woman, she had strong faith in God she had a very outgoing personality, she was full of life,” Simon said.

Winnie opened a coffee shop on 2nd avenue and worked hard to take care of her children and her family. But in March of 2006 Winnie's body was found on fire near a creek on Whitsett Road in South Nashville. Investigators says Winnie was also shot.

Simon says 13 years of holidays and special occasions were robbed from her and her family.

“The fact that they're still out there and living their normal life and they took a very important and special human being from me,” Simon said.

So today, Winnie's family is celebrating her life. Her family wants to keep her memory alive in hopes it will help find the killer or killers responsible for her death.

“I need the support of the community to help me solve this case so that we can get justice for once and for all,” said Simon, “It won't bring my mom back but at least we will have closure.”

If you know any information about the murder of Winnie, please call crimestoppers 615-742-7463. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and qualify for a cash reward. Persons can also send an electronic tip by texting the word “CASH” along with the message to 274637 (CRIMES) or online at