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People and agencies involved in the Merrill / Colyer murder investigation.

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  • RICK MERRILL and DORI COLYER
    • Victims of a double homicide by arson in Brooksville.
  • THE SUSPECTS
    • Brooksville Police Department announce four suspects in the murders.

    • Brooksville Police Department state all of the suspects were involved in the igniting of the vehicle interior.

      • "They aren't related as family members, but they are related as to possible motive," Detective Ron Johnson

    • Three suspects left the Brooksville area shortly after the murders.
  • RAY SCHUMACHER
    • Brooksville police officer, first unit on the scene.
  • RON NOVY
    • Chief of Police for the Brooksville Police Department at the time of the murders.
  • BOB JOHNSON
    • Lead investigator into the murders of Rick and Dori.

    • Chief of Police for Brooksville in April 1982 to September 1983.

    • Developed four suspects in the murders.

    • He declined comment when asked by the press about the prosecutors assessment that there was insufficient evidence to make arrests in the case.
  • JAMES MERRILL
    • Rick Merrill’s father.

    • Gave Rick a gold necklace the day prior to his murder.

    • Identifies the necklace recovered at the crime scene.

    • Owner of the Ark Restaurant, Rick’s employer.
  • JIMMY BROWN
    • Assistant States Attorney for Hernando County.

    • Stated to the press that the murders were "drug related."

    • Stated to the press that's Dori Colyer’s body was too badly burned for dental identification, therefore blood type and jewelry would be used for identification.

    • “There’s not enough yet to take it to a Grand Jury for indictment.” (Tampa Tribune, 12/16/1981)

      • Lead investigator and Brooksville Chief of Police Bob Johnson declines to comment on the prosecutor's assessment.
  • MARK MERRILL
    • Brother of Rick Merrill, prior owner of the El Camino that the victims were murdered in.
  • BELINDA ARNEY
    • Co-owner of Fat Boys Restaurant in Brooksville.

    • Dori Colyer’s employer.

    • Stated to the press that Dori was a well liked, excellent employee.
  • FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT
    • Investigators with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement process the crime scene, recovering several pieces of evidence.
  • “FORENSIC DENTIST”
    • Provides positive ID of Rick Merrill through dental records.
  • FAT BOYS EMPLOYEES
    • Asked by law enforcement to identify jewelry found on Dori's body.
  • FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE
    • Investigator tests to determine if flammable liquid was used as an accelerant in the vehicle fire.
  • TAMPA REGIONAL CRIME LAB
    • Runs tests to determine if flammable liquid was used as an accelerant in the vehicle fire.
  • NEILS BERNSTEIN
    • Director of the Tampa Regional Crime Lab.
  • DADE COUNTY TOXICOLOGY LAB
    • Analyzes blood samples from the victims.
  • BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS
    • Chief of Police Novy tells the press that an investigator with expertise in “car bombs” examined the vehicle.
  • DR. WILLIAM WINTERS
    • Performed autopsies of the victims at Lykes Memorial Hospital.
  • "TWO MECHANICS"
    • Two auto mechanics assisted Brooksville Police in determining the cause of the vehicle fire.
  • PHIL BRANTLEY
    • Owner of The Hilltop Lounge in Brooksville.
  • TIM VITT
    • Brooksville Chief of Police, September 1983 to August 1984.
  • WILLIAM BEGG
    • Brooksville Police Chief for 18 days in January 1985.
  • ED TINCHER
    • Brooksville Police Chief November 1985 - March 2007.
  • FRANK ROSS
    • Brooksville interim Police Chief March 2007 - September 2007.
  • GEORGE TURNER
    • Brooksville Police Chief September 2007 - March 2018.
  • TRACY SCHOFIELD
    • Brooksville interim Police Chief March - May 2018.
  • PAUL SIRECI
    • Brooksville interim Police Chief May, 2018.
  • DETECTIVE GEORGE LOYDGREN
    • Cold case investigator for the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. Inherited the case in 2018 when the Brooksville Police Department ceased operations.
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