COLD CASE: Investigators re-examining evidence from 1988 murder

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CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WMBB) — Ralph Garrett is an investigator with the Crestview Police Department. He works to crack the city’s cold cases.

“You know, each case is like a fingerprint,” he said. “They’re all different. Even though they look the same, they’re all different. And each one of them take you down a different path.”

But there is one case file especially striking to him. That’s the gruesome murder of 71-year-old George Henry Jones.

“I was a very young officer when this case happened, and I’ve never forgotten it,” he said. “When I began to work with the police department four years ago, I wanted this case, and I asked for it.”

Jones was found battered to death inside his home on East Walnut Street in the morning hours of September 12, 1988.

“He had actually been brought home the night before,” Garrett said. “He had attended church service, and then the bus brought him home – or the van – and dropped him off. And sometime during that evening or early morning hours, someone was in his home and attacked him and resulted in his death.”

Jones’s killer has managed to get away with the crime for more than 30 years now.

The case is cold, but Garrett and his team hope new testing of evidence will soon reveal more details about who murdered him.

“Recently we have been – myself and some of our investigators – have been looking into the evidence of this case,” he said. “And we feel that, with the help of FDLA, we may be able to get some of this evidence re-examined. They do things today that they didn’t do in 1988. And so we’re pretty hopeful that we can get further with this case, with that.”

Currently, there’s no photo publicly available of Jones. But if you have one or any information regarding his death, you’re asked to call the Crestview Police Department or CrimeStoppers.

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