SALISBURY, N.C. — There's a renewed push for answers in a shocking, unsolved case where two area college kids were shot execution-style.

The mother of one of the victims talked for the first time in more than 17 years exclusively to NBC Charlotte Defender Michelle Boudin. 

In all these years, Matthew Greear’s mom has only spoken publicly once. She talking now because, after 17 years, she’s desperate to know who would shoot two college football players -- execution-style.

"I definitely didn’t believe it, and I don’t hardly believe it to this day,” Shelia French said. “It's the hardest thing you’ll ever hear in your life.” 

RELATED: New push for answers in the Plaza Midwood murder of Ketie Jones

Her 19-year-old son murdered

“You do not want to believe it.” 

Salisbury Police Detective Travis Shulenburger took over the 2002 case in 2011. 

“It was an execution-style killing.”

“It’s the last thing in the world you could think would ever happen to your child – but it did.”

French has all the old photos  -- from the time he was a baby to the time he went trick or treating with his buddies to his senior pictures.

Those last pictures were taken not long before he was killed.

“The hardest thing, the hardest thing has been how he died,” French said.

It was April 2002. Greear was hanging out at his neighbor, Frank Long’s house with two others, Andrew Womble and Chris Isaac. All four were Catawba College football players.

RELATED: Carolina Cold Case: Who killed Josh Schulman?

“There was a knock at the door,” “Shulenburger said.

Matthew answered. 

“At which time, the two suspects came into the apartment, one was armed with a handgun, almost immediately put the gun to Frank Long's head and started saying, 'Where is it? Where is it?' and almost immediately fired a shot, killing Frank Long.”

“The other two managed to run to the bedroom and jump out the window and at least got away.”

“They were running away from the apartment after diving out the window. They heard another shot fired, presumably the shot that killed Matthew Greear,” the detective added.

French said she doesn’t know much but she remembers being told, “Apparently they were looking for drugs is what I was told.”

RELATED: 'I lost him twice' | Mom who gave up son for adoption years ago searches for his killer

Police will only say it was a robbery attempt but confirm both victims were shot in the head.

“Could you get any more coldhearted?” French said.

Police said they only have a vague description of the two suspects, and no one has ever been arrested.

“It’s been 17 years that my son's been gone. It's time somebody steps up and does the right thing. Somebody needs to pay for it. Somebody needs to pay for murdering my son.”

Police said all these years later, they are still actively working leads. They’ve even travelled out of state to interview people.

If you have any information, call Salisbury-Rowan Crimestoppers at 1-866-639-5245. 

Never miss an alert. Download the new WCNC app today

TRENDING ON WCNC.COM

How much snow will Charlotte get this year? Brad's winter forecast

A Charlotte home sold for $9,000. The owner didn't list it. Who did?

Deadly officer-involved shooting under investigation in Lincolnton