OKALOOSA ISLAND, Fla. (WMBB) — In 1979, two men walked into their local gas station convenience store to buy some refreshments after a long night. Instead of being met by the friendly nightshift cashier, they found him dead on the floor in a pool of blood.
That gas station is now a tattoo shop and the case is still unsolved.
George Edward Myers, 56, recently moved into town with his wife.
“From our understanding, he was actually a very popular clerk, a lot of people knew him. He always worked the night shift,” said Jeffrey Butler, the criminal investigator now assigned to the case.
“He was face down in the storage area. There was a lot of blood there and it turns out he had been shot at least eight times,” Butler added.
Butler said that there was probably a small timeframe in which Myers could have been shot.
“I do believe that around 2:30 in the morning there was a patron in the store who had purchased something and at that time her was alive,” he said. “So, he was found just after 3.”
Butler said there were no signs of a robbery or any reasons to believe Myers had issues with anyone, so the motive for his murder remains unclear.
News reports from the day after Myers’s body was found said the responding OCSO lieutenant at the time suspected it might have been an attempted robbery.
“I think they (the robber or robbers) panicked after the shooting and ran,” said sheriff’s lieutenant Cecil Donaldson, according to the reports.
The reports also said the OCSO had questioned two people of interest at the time, both in connection with a string of robberies in Milton, but ultimately found no link.
Since then, the OCSO has had no new leads.
“We can speculate all day long,” Butler said. “That store was kept very neat, very clean. Mr. Myers worked the nightshift. You could tell he kept that place–he took some pride in keeping it up. And nothing looked out of place. The safe wasn’t touched, the cash register wasn’t touched. There was some items on the victim himself, none of that was touched–his wallet. So we don’t believe it was a robbery attempt, but again, it’s specualtion.”
Butler added that crime solving technology has come a long way since the 1970s, and there are some things that they would have done differently if they had come across this crime scene today. But he said the best crime solving resource is people.
Anyone who has any information on this cold case is asked to please contact the OCSO at 850.651.7400 or Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers at 850.863.TIPS, emeraldcoastcrimestoppers.com, or by using the P3 Tips Mobile app.