Investigators Catch Break In 30-Year-Old Cold Case

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Thursday April 26, 2012

Investigators in Saline County say they've caught a break in a 30 year old cold case murder investigation.

Sheriff’s deputies are hoping to hear from potential witnesses to William Farmer's murder, who may have been too afraid to come forward in the past.

The 30 year old husband and father of two was found shot to death in a remote area southeast of New Cambria in Saline County May 31, 1981. Although investigators believe he may have known his murderer, they haven't been able to make an arrest because they believe the killer may have been intimidating witnesses.

Investigators say they had a list of persons of interest but without witnesses, they just weren't able to make an arrest. But recently, several of the people on that list died.

“So now we have had people come forward giving us new information that they were scared to give when some of those people were alive,” Deputy Jim Hughes said.

Deputy Hughes says Farmer's murder investigation has always remained open. He describes the case as a nearly completed puzzle and hopes that now more people who may have been intimidated into silence might find the courage to speak up.

“Somebody out there has the last five or six pieces to this puzzle,” Deputy Hughes.

Deputy Hughes says they can't say for sure if William Farmer's murderer is still alive but says even if closing the case doesn't mean arresting the killer; after three decades, farmer's wife and two sons deserve to finally be able to close this chapter in their lives.

Deputy Hughes also told us that closing a cold case after this long is unusual but not unheard of. They are asking anyone with any information to contact the Saline County Sheriff's Office at 785-826-6500 or Crimestoppers at 785-825-TIPS (8477).

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