Reward doubles in family killing - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Reward doubles in family killing

September 12, 2002

Turner County- Larry Wheeler says not a day goes by that somebody doesn't ask him about the murders of Tommy Joe, Deborah and Melissa Wideman, or tell him who they think did it. He also says he never stops trying to get to the bottom of it.

"Situation where somebody took my sister and her family," Wheeler said. "How do you get over it."

The Widemans were shot and killed March 22nd inside their home that was torched the same night. Their deaths now marked outside Tommy Joe's former office as Tax assessor, including that of 20-year-old Melissa's unborn daughter, Abby, due just weeks after her murder.

"We talk about it everyday, think about it everyday, not going to let it go until we make an arrest and convict somebody,"  Sheriff Randy Kendrick said.

But relatives of Deborah Wideman haven't heard much from the sheriff's department about leads in the investigation, so they want to give them a little assistance, adding $26,000 in reward money to make information worth $50,000.

"Hope and pray somebody comes forth with info to capture people that done this evil thing," Wheeler said.

Both the Wheelers and the Sheriff say they want to see this case solved not only to bring peace to the family, but for all of Turner County, as people wonder if a killer is living among them. But there is no prime suspect.

"As evidence comes in we'll make the arrest, but we're not getting tunnel vision on one person." Sheriff Kendrick said.

But the efforts of the family and the sheriff's office are concentrated on one thing, the arrest, conviction, and eventual execution of the Wideman family killer.

posted at 6:15 p.m. by dave.d'marko@walb.com