Mother finds son's body in ditch

July 1, 2009 2:29:17 PM PDT
A mother made a devastating discovery overnight. She found her son dead in a ditch, after a family member received a phone call from a stranger. Now investigators are trying to piece together exactly what happened to him. Harris County detectives believe Derrick Godfrey was shot and left for dead in the ditch on Duncum near Ironwood. His own mother called 911 after her nephew got the phone call at 3am.

"It was hard," said Barnett. "It was very devastating."

Barnett says the stranger on the other end of the phone warned this roadside ditch is where she would find her 26-year-old son dead. She held on for hope that it was a prank, until she did find him.

"Looked like he was just laying there sleeping," said Barnett.

Barnett says she last saw Godfrey less than an hour before his death. She told us he met her at a gaming room to borrow $50 in cash for a night out with friends. But she says she doesn't know who he was with.

Investigators are now trying to identify those friends by tracking calls made to the Godfrey house and interviewing witnesses.

"Most of those witnesses showed up after the fact as a result of the mother notifying family members," said Sgt. Greg Pinkins with the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

Court records show Godfrey had a history of convictions on drug charges dating back to 2002. But his family says he was a good person.

"A lot of times, he'd try to help you," said Barnett.

And his mother is holding on to her final memory of him.

"He said, 'Mom, I love you,' and he just left," she said.

Godfrey's family told us detectives were able to track down the woman who called them, a woman who identified herself on as "T." Last they saw her, she was still being questioned by detectives.

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