Sheriff Clovis Watson, Jr. remains committed to the missing and murdered.  Formed in 2007, our Cold Case Unit’s mission is to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, seeking answers and justice for victims and their families. A Cold Case Investigator works unsolved homicides, missing persons cases, and other high-impact unsolved crimes in Alachua County – and we need YOUR help to solve these cases.

If you have information, please contact Investigator Kevin Allen at (352) 384-3323 or via e-mail.

To view our solved cold cases, click here.


Lila Leach

Incident Date: 07-16-10

Circumstances: Lila Leach was attacked in her Newberry home and died as a result of the injuries she sustained. Detectives continue to work this case and have partnered with CrimeStoppers and the Florida Sheriffs Association Criminal Apprehension Assistance Program to offer a $8,000 reward.

Case # 10-6756

Lila Leach - CrimeStoppers Reward of $8,000

James Edward Tuff, Jr.

Incident Date: 12-04-06

Circumstances: On 12-04-06, at approximately 1:00pm, James Edward Tuff was found lying on the edge of SE County Road 2082, at about the 11000 block. Tuff was last seen alive at a residence in Lamplighter Mobile Home Park in Gainesville earlier that morning. Tuff was a lifelong resident of Gainesville.

Case # 06-15353


Wende Ellinger

Incident Date: 03-18-05

Circumstances: Around midnight, the body of Wende Ellinger was found in a fire at her residence at 10207 SW 84 Avenue, Gainesville (Kanapaha Highlands). Wende was last seen alive at approximately 10:30 PM, 03-17-05, in her residence. The investigation revealed that she sustained other injuries prior to the fire and it was ruled a homicide. Wende Ellinger was the mother of three small children who were not home at the time.

Case # 05-3214


Baby Jane Doe

Incident Date: 08-20-03
Age: 2 weeks to 5 months

Circumstances: An Alachua County resident discovered the body of a female baby floating in a private pond. The pond is at the end of NW 102nd Place, just 3 miles north of the Highway Patrol Station.

Recent advances in DNA technology has been utilized to determine that Baby Jane was a black female whose parents were both black and most likely of Caribbean descent.

Case # 03-9523


Michael Shane Crutchfield

Incident Date: 05-13-99

Circumstances: On Thursday, 05-13-99, at approximately 2300 hours, Michael Shane Crutchfield, was found in the doorway of his apartment. The apartment is in the Hickory Hills Apartments at 4023 SW 16th Lane, Apt. A, Gainesville. The Sheriff’s Office is looking for a light colored sedan that was seen leaving the area with at least one unknown male suspect. The investigation revealed his death was the result of a homicide.

Case # 99-06101


Jose Rodriguez

Incident Date: 05-29-98

Circumstances: On 05-29-98 Jose walked away from his residence at 319 NW 5th Street, in an unknown direction. He was last seen at approximately 530pm on NE 39th Avenue between NE 15th Street and Waldo Road, walking toward Waldo Road. His body was found in Newnan’s Lake, and the investigation revealed his death was the result of a homicide.

Case # 98-6996


Beverly Springer

Incident Date: 12-23-97

Circumstances: Beverly was found deceased in the 11000 block of North County Road 225, approximately one mile north of the Gainesville Raceway, partially clothed along the west side of of the roadway. Investigation revealed her death was the result of a homicide.

Case # 97-15422


Photograph Not Available

Sharon Roberts

Incident Date: 12-16-95
Race/Sex: White Female

Circumstances: On 12-16-95, Sharon was taken to Shands Emergency Room by ambulance. She died later that date from “Shaken Baby Syndrome.”

Case # 95-13175


Robert Howard

Incident Date: 04-18-94

Circumstances: Robert was found 04-18-94, after he was reported missing on 08-05-92. He was found in a wooded area off Archer Road and SW 170th Street, and last seen alive in August 1992 in Arredondo Farms.

Case # 94-13973 and 92-21097


Gary Flanagan

Incident Date: 12-29-93

Circumstances: Gary was found on 12-29-93 at State Road 24 (Waldo Road) and NE 69th Avenue in the wooded area. He arrived at the airport in Gainesville on 12-22-93, at 7:10 p.m. He was a resident of Nashville, TN, formerly of Gainesville and still had a brother who lived here.

Case # 93-66895


Photograph Not Available

Miguel Pineda

Incident Date: 11-04-91

Circumstances: Miguel was found 11-04-91 outside the front door of Pizza King. He died during a robbery attempt.

Case # 11421-91


Betty Delores Covington

Incident Date: 10-14-90

Circumstances: Betty was found in a wooded area in Brooker, off of NW 218th Avenue. She had been deceased for several weeks and was last seen in Starke, Florida, getting into a pickup truck.

Case # 10852-90


Eileen Jones

Incident Date: 1-13-90

Circumstances: Eileen was found deceased on 01-17-90 in her mobile home at Windmeadows Mobile Home Park.

Case # 00467-90


Tiffany Louise Sessions

Missing: 2/9/89

Circumstances: Tiffany disappeared from the University of Florida. At approximately 6:00 PM she told her roommate she was going for a walk and never returned. An extensive search provided no clues. Last Seen Wearing: Red sweatpants. Long sleeved pull-over sweatshirt with gray horizontal stripes and the word “Aspen” in green letters on front. Blue or white low cut “Reebok” sneakers.

Case # 01569-89


Rita Melton

Incident Date: 08-28-88

Circumstances: On 8-28-88, the body of 32 year old Rita Melton was discovered in the woods approximately 1.5 miles north of Orange Heights. Melton’s blue and white Ford F100 pickup truck was located nearby. The body had been in the woods for several days. Her death has been determined to be a homicide.

Case # 88-09026


Gerald Davis

Incident Date: 02-05-85

Circumstances: Gerald was found on 02-05-85 on County Road 329B (Newnans Lake Road).

Case # 85-3746


Cecil Shealy

Incident Date: 05-20-80

Circumstances: Cecil was found 05-20-80 in a field off County Road 241, north of Alachua. Last seen leaving his car with a black female, walking towards the field where his body was found.

Case # 08861-80


Photograph Not Available

Unidentified Human Remains

Date Found: 2/12/1979
Estimated Date of Death: 6-12 months prior to discovery
Age: Early to mid 30’s
Race: White
Sex: Male

Circumstances: On 2/12/1979, the remains of an unknown white male were found in the woods off State Road 236, along with brown tie-up shoes, brown pants, a light colored short-sleeved shirt, and a light blue windbreaker jacket.

Case # 79-2218


Ernestine Boston

Incident Date: 10-27-75

Circumstances: Ernestine was found 10-27-75 in a ditch on NE 53rd Avenue, near the City water plant. Cause of Death undetermined.

Case # 74-64661


Burley Junior Barnett

Incident Date: 09-20-74

Circumstances: Burley was found on 09-20-74 in his car at the southbound rest area on I-75.

Case # 74-45638


Betty Ann New

Incident Date: 09-06-74

Circumstances: Betty was found 09-06-74 in a field near Lake Burnett in Alachua County.

Case # 74-44984


Edwin Dusek

Incident Date: 07-03-73

Circumstances: Edwin was found 07-06-73 on a dirt road off Millhopper Road.

Case # 73-27711


Pearle Bartley

Incident Date: 10-27-69

Circumstances: Pearle was found 10-27-69, murdered in a country store south of Paynes Prairie.

Case # 69-3895


James Harold Thomas

Found Dead: 05/18/66

Circumstances: James was found in the wooded area south of Cross Creek with a gunshot to his head. He was in the Army, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and was last seen there December 3, 1965. His vehicle was found abandoned nearby on 12/10/65.

Case # 66-1270