Lowndes County deputies search for killer - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes County deputies search for killer

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By Alicia Eakin - bio | email

July 31, 2008

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -Investigators have the name of a man believed to have shot and killed a store clerk in Lowndes County last night.

They are looking for 20 year-old Daymon Heard.  They says he's the one who went into a store in Lake Park, opened fire on the clerk and then stepped over the clerk's body to get cigarettes.

Investigators believe Heard had every intention of shooting 48 year-old Jay Patel from the moment he walked into the Triangle Foods on Highway 41 in Lake Park.

"It was a gruesome act and it was cold blooded murder," says Capt. JD Yeager of the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office.

They say surveillance cameras were rolling as Heard walked into the store, pulled a gun and fired four shots at the defenseless Patel.

"As the clerk saw the gun, he put his hands in the air. He was shot once, he fell to the ground. The offender leaned over the counter and fired three more shots," Yeager says.

He took money from the register then left, only to return a few seconds later.  "He returned back to the store, walked around the counter, stepped over the victim and got cigarettes out of the cigarette rack."

Just hours later, family and friends of Heard called police.  They said he told them what he did before taking off, possibly to Atlanta. They even provided a picture, which has been sent to law enforcement agencies all over the country.

Since airing his picture, investigators have followed numerous tips and sightings from Lake Park to Clyattville. None have been solid but they are encouraging anyone with information to call in.

"We ask them to continue calling with any other information. Anybody who thinks they might know where he'd be and we also ask that anybody who knows him to contact him and ask him to turn himself in," Yeager says.

Investigators say they won't rest until Heard is behind bars.

Police say Heard broke into a house in Lake Park Wednesday afternoon, just hours before the convenience store robbery and killing.

If you have any information call the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office at 229-671-2900.

This Lake Park murder is eerily similar to the murder of a store clerk in Lake City, Florida, just across the state line.

On July 22nd, 56 year-old Linda Raulerson was shot in killed at the Joy American Food Store in Lake City, Florida.

Lake Park is about 50 miles south of Lowndes County on Interstate 75.

A killer with a similar description was caught on tape during that robbery.

Two detectives from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office were in Lowndes County Thursday looking over video, suspect descriptions and comparing each murder.

No word yet if the two have been linked.

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