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From the county's unsolved murder case files

By ABBIE VANSICKLE
Published July 10, 2005


The investigators of the Citrus County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit spend years working to unravel the mysteries of Citrus' unsolved murders. Anyone with information about any of these cases can call the Sheriff's Office at 726-4488 or the anonymous tip line at 1-888-269-8477.

Here are some of the murders still unsolved:

Ethel Lynch Reynolds, 86, and Frieda Lynch DeMougin, 84, were found dead in their small brick home in Crystal River on New Year's Eve in 1983. The elderly sisters were found with their throats slashed early in the morning by Mrs. Reynold's daughter. One of the women had been sexually assaulted.

A 60-year-old man, doused in gasoline, burned to death in 1985. His body was found burning on the side of County Road 490 in Homosassa Springs. The man had suffered a head wound. He was never identified.

A traveler found the body of Dennis Baker, 30, on County Road 480 in 1985 on Christmas Eve. Baker had been tied to the back of a vehicle and dragged more than half a mile, investigators said at the time. Investigators first believed Baker was killed during a drug deal that went wrong because his body was left out in the open, perhaps as a warning to others.

Mate Crawford's body was pulled from a roadside ditch in May 1986. The 49-year-old Crystal River handyman was last seen leaving the Crystal Lounge in Crystal River.

Howard E. Smith, 48, was stabbed to death outside the VFW post in Inverness in 1989. Smith's body lay face down in front of a late-model Dodge Charger. He was found by a passerby.

James Dore, 29, was found dead in June 1995. The Floral City man's body was found near the end of E Country Highlands Drive. According to sheriff's reports, Dore left Griff's Lounge in Inverness the about 2 a.m. June 17. He and another man drove off in Dore's pickup. He stopped by his father's Floral City home to get gas money. His body was found before noon that day. His truck was found about 3 miles away, stuck in a culvert.

[Last modified July 9, 2005, 23:34:17]


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