BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Back on December 29, 2019, Edward Ross was shot and killed in his home in Panama City Beach.
Now over two weeks later, the suspects are still on the loose.
On Tuesday, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office released a video of a possible person of interest in the case.
Deputies are needing help to identify that man but are also still looking for at least three other black males.
The sheriff’s office has been very specific with how much and what information they’ve released to the public throughout the investigation. Captain Jason Daffin is over the Criminal Investigations Division and says this is not due to a lack of information.
He says this actually allows them to validate the information they get at a faster rate.
“If everybody knows everything, then everybody’s going to be able to call and give us specific facts that match up to our scene. If they don’t know all the facts and then they call in and able to tell us facts that we haven’t released then that tells me we need to send a lot more resources to go run that down,” Daffin said.
Daffin says this case, in particular, has more leads than normal, and that is due to how many people Ross knew.
“One thing we have learned is that Mr. Ross had dealt with a lot of people in the community, he was well-liked by a lot of people in the community, he has a lot of contacts in the community so being that that’s the situation, it makes it a lot more complex. There’s a lot of people we have to go talk to, a lot of information we have to vet,” Daffin said.
He says he and other investigators as well have been getting constant phone calls since the shooting happened and they’re working hard, even if the public isn’t made aware of every detail.
“As far as our case and how we’re working this, just because we’re not giving daily updates on new information, does not mean that it’s not there and not coming in. A lot of this stuff to keep the integrity of this investigation, we keep a lot of that close to the vest.”
While the sheriff’s office is fully aware of Ross’s past and criminal history, Daffin says that knowledge has nothing to do with how much effort they’re putting into the case.
“Despite the lifestyle that he lived and the victimology and us doing our background on him, he’s still a human being that lost his life. Nobody deserves that, we have empathy for the family and so we’re going to do everything we can to bring justice to him.”
And they’re doing all they can to solve this case as quickly as possible.
“We’re putting all resources, running down every lead in regards to it so again, just ’cause we’re not putting out daily updates doesn’t mean that things are not coming in and that we’re not following up and that we have no leads, it’s the exact opposite. We’ve got plenty that we’re running down and plenty of hot trails that we’re going down until we bring justice to the family.”
Anyone with any information on the identity of the man in the video or the case is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (850)747-4700 or CrimeStoppers at 785-TIPS.