Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A Georgia clerk is murdered
Convenience stores are easy targets for hit-and-run robbers. Because of our mobile society and the randomness of such crimes, many of the heists go unsolved. In some cases, the isolation and vulnerability of store clerks can lead to murder. The senseless shooting of Linda Raulerson comes to mind. The Lake City, Florida wife and mother was working alone in a Joy Food Store near I-10 when a robber gunned her down. More than a year later, her killer is still unknown. Now, in rural Douglas County, Georgia, another clerk has died.
On September 22, 2009, it was raining, a steady downpour that would last for days. Rivers and creeks were rising and would soon overflow, flooding hundreds of homes and businesses in the area. The deluge was so horrific that a woman would disappear when she drove her Jeep into the raging waters of Dog Creek. After two weeks of almost unabated rain, several local counties would be declared federal disaster areas.
At eleven o’clock that Monday night in Douglasville, Georgia, a robber entered the Circle K Food Store on Highway 5 near the Arbor Place Mall. He was pale, and had a slight build. He wore a baseball-style cap underneath a hoodie and his face was covered with a towel that portrayed an American flag and American Legion-type patches. In his right hand the man held a small handgun.
Because the weather had deterred most shoppers from venturing out, Maryann Humphrey, 63, was alone in the store. She cooperated with the robber, opening the cash register. Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller told reporters that “she gave him the money, but she struggled with him and he shot her.” During the struggle, Maryann was able to remove the towel, allowing the robber's face to be captured by the store’s surveillance video.
Once his face was exposed, the gunman shot Maryann in the chest. As she fell to the floor, he shot her again in the head. She was later found by a customer.
Maryann had a large extended family. Brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews lived all across the country. Born in Maryland, she had six brothers and two sisters. Twice-married, Maryann lived near her daughter and granddaughter. According to family members, she’d worked as a clerk or cashier for most of her adult life. “She was very good at her work, a job that most people wouldn’t have valued,” said Barbara Humphrey, her former sister-in-law.
Maryann loved computers, movies, and handheld games such as Yahtzee and poker.
Lt. Bruce Ferguson of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said the killer looks to be between 13 and 19 years of age. He stands between five-feet-two and five-feet-four inches tall. His face is thin and bloodless, and police said he is either Caucasian or Hispanic. Because of the heavy flooding and the fact that few people were able to drive, investigators believe the teenager is from the area. “I think he’s a local boy,” Ferguson said “because you couldn’t get in here. You couldn’t leave, either, because we had our own little island. It was all shut down.”
The best clue may be the towel. Investigators determined that it can only be obtained from the Paralyzed Veterans of America by individuals who donate to the organization.
A $ 20,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the killer. As of this writing, he still had not been identified.
Posted by Robert A. Waters at 2:45 AM