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Crestview Cold Case reopened after 32 years
CRESTVIEW -- 32-years ago a man traveling I-10 through Crestview was found dead at a the westbound rest area.
He was beat then shot in the head.
Till this day Okaloosa County investigators haven't solved the murder of Bert Eldon Gross.
And now they are revisiting the cold case.
"Okaloosa County Sheriff's investigators are opening a cold case from 1981 they are looking for any information about this man in the picture..he was brutally beaten then shot in the head."
February 22, 1981 42-year old Bert Eldon Gross packed his 1969 red Ford Ranger and set off to Arizona to do some mechanic work.
The next day his clothes were found in the east bound rest area near Crestview. A short time later his body was discovered around the picnic area of the westbound rest stop.
He had been brutally beaten with his own pair of Channel Lock Pliers and shot in the head with his own gun.
His truck was stolen and discovered in Bay County later.
A suspect was questioned at the time but passed a polygraph test and was let go.
Randall Joiner "He was not ruled out as a suspect, but he was never questioned again and since that time he's passed away."
Over the years the case sat cold..
Until known serial killers Henry Lucas and Otis Toole brought some light to the case.
Lucas told authorities Otis had told him he had once shot a man in the head in the near the area Gross' body was found.
But further investigation found nothing to support the accusations.
They learned both men had prior knowledge and were trying to bargain to get off death row.
"There is just so many questions that are unanswered we just don't know."
With new advancements in DNA testing. Gross' clothes will be sent off to the FDLE Crime Lab for further testing.
"There has been very good advancements in DNA technology and that's the main thing we're hoping at this point is that some of the evidence from the crime scene from the clothing will reveal some sort of foreign DNA that doesn't belong to the victim."
"Law enforcement is passing out fliers all over the state hoping to get any information. If you have any information contact the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office"