Television network funding independent investigation of 2011 Alb - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Television network funding independent investigation of 2011 Albany death

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The Dougherty District Attorney allowed outside investigators to review evidence from the 2011 death of Natalie Eppler.
 The high-tech investigation is being funded by a television network, possibly for a future television episode. 

The District Attorney says he will look over any new evidence this forensic investigation uncovers with an open mind, but reminds that there is no statute of limitations in a homicide.

23 year old  Natalie Eppler died of a gunshot wound to her head in her home in February 2011. 
Her husband, 25 year old Marine Sergeant James Eppler, was initially charged with murder. Those charges were dropped after about a month when her death was ruled a suicide.
Eppler's family never believed she killed herself, and for nearly five years have pushed for more investigation.

The CBS Television Network is now helping them, funding a four person forensic investigative team that has been looking into Eppler death evidence for the last three months.
Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards said "My understanding was there were new technologies that had been developed that they believe might lead to some further insights on the physical circumstances of this particular case."

The D.A. said the leader of the investigative team is Dr. Jack Ballantyne from the National Center For Forensic Science.  They promise to use cutting edge equipment on the evidence, including Eppler's clothing.
Edwards said "They've dedicated some resources to the further investigation. And so we'll look at whatever the investigation develops, and that's where we're at from there."

Edwards said the state will give an impartial look at any evidence the group comes up with.
Edwards said "If it leads to a conclusion it was not a homicide, then that's fine.  If it leads to that other conclusion that it possibly could have been something other suicide, then we'll see how it goes."

So far Edwards has not heard back from the investigation team on their work.

I talked with members of Natalie Eppler's family in Ohio and they said CBS officials had told them not to talk to anyone about their investigation.  Prosecutors said they are not sure where James Eppler lives now.
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