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Old 06-24-2007, 08:13 PM   #1
justins5256
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Default Todd Mcafee

Since there was some recent scuttlebutt on this case...

==================================================
Investigator, mother seek clues in old murder

Evidence to 1987 slaying might be hidden in Arcadia, they say

DeSoto Sun (Arcadia, FL)
May 11, 1998
Record Number: 1082A132E6BE8795


When Johnny Fugate talks about Mary Alice McAfee, he might not know where she is.


But he's certain he knows where her mind is focused: farmland near State Road 70, along the Manatee-DeSoto County line.


McAfee's 26-year-old son, Todd, was killed Aug. 17, 1987, along that stretch of road, in the vicinity of the mobile home that doubles as an office for Bonita Packing Co.


Todd McAfee was an up-and-coming corporate farm manager and was considered to have a promising future in the business. His dreams died when he was shot four times and his body was dumped in a nearby drainage ditch.


His mother knows the details of his death. She continues to wonder why it happened.


"It is not something you can get over. I'm looking for a very overused word, closure," Mary McAfee said last week. "We need some answers."


That "we" goes beyond Mrs. McAfee, her husband, T.J., and Todd's sister, Allison. It includes investigators for the state attorney's office and the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.


"I never ride by it that I don't think about it," said Fugate, an investigator for the state attorney that covers Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties.


"It" is the site of McAfee's former trailer. Bonita Packing removed it following the murder.


Fugate and Manatee County investigators have filled four boxes with information on the McAfee murder, but they are still lacking clues to make an arrest in the case.


"There's a lot of hours that went into this thing," Fugate said. "This is not dead. This is not closed."


Fugate and Mrs. McAfee say Todd was a well-liked man who enjoyed hunting and shooting guns. He was a member of the DeSoto Gun Club and occasionally took target practice at its facility along the Peace River.


At the time of his death, McAfee was following in the footsteps of his father and working his way up the ladder in corporate agriculture.


He graduated in 1983 from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in agribusiness. He found his first job in Whitesburg, Ga., where he was helping to develop a quail farm.


He left the Whitesburg farm in the summer of 1985 to work for Bonita Packing at its Corkscrew operation in Lee County. In July 1986, he was transferred to Bonita's Myakka Farm.


"He was a success at what he was doing," his mother said. "You could see it in the way he walked and the way he handled himself. That is a good thing for a parent to see."


His mother also believed McAfee's personal life was blossoming. She anticipated her son would follow her daughter into marriage.


But the rural farmland of Florida bore him a different fate.


McAfee was living in the middle of nowhere. His closest neighbor was four miles away. He talked on the telephone each night as a way of visiting with people, his mother said.


"He was expected to be there," she said. "He had more money than time to spend it."


At the time of his death, McAfee was in the process of planting 100 acres of tomatoes. He was supervising a crew of 10 men.


He had also become some burglar's prey.


After completing work Aug. 17, 1987, McAfee had driven to Myakka City to buy groceries and rent a video.


Fugate said he believes McAfee discovered a burglary at his home when he returned.


It was the second time in 10 months that McAfee had been burglarized. Thieves broke into his trailer in October 1986 and stole some of his possessions, including guns.


Investigators say tire tracks found at McAfee's trailer show he sped up when he saw his home had been entered. Whoever was in the trailer was waiting for McAfee when he arrived, Fugate said.


"He was ambushed," Fugate said.


McAfee was shot, loaded into the back of a truck and dumped into a ditch on farm property.


"They took him back there and threw him in there, because they didn't want him found right away," Fugate said.


A large alligator was also known to frequent the ditch, he said.


The shooting occurred about 6:15 p.m. McAfee's body was not found until 10 a.m. the next day by a group of farm workers.


Fugate said he believes more information about the McAfee murder should exist, because of two factors: Most of his farm workers came from the Arcadia area, and some of the items stolen from his trailer -- guns, a VCR and camera equipment -- were recovered in the city.


"There's no doubt in my mind that someone around there knows what happened," Mary McAfee said.


The McAfees are now trying to speed up the investigative process. The family is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.


"It has to be good information," Mary McAfee said. "This information has to be given by Aug. 31, or they can forget it."


Todd McAfee's murder has changed his mother's life. She quit her real estate career after his death, because she feels uncomfortable being alone with strangers.


His killers also took away one of her best friends. Her anger is so deep she can't verbalize it.


"I'm a gentle Southern woman, but I could shock you with what I could say," she said. "I've been told to turn it over to a higher authority. Right now, I can't."


By Rich Simpson


DeSoto Editor




Copyright (c) 1998, 2005, Desoto Sun


==================================================
ICE UNIT HOT ON KILLERS' HEELS

Bradenton Herald, The (FL)
April 5, 1998
Edition: FinalLocal
Chris Tisch, Herald Staff Writer
Section: Local
Page: L1
Record Number: 9804070148


They are the whodunits, the murders that refuse to be solved despite the hundreds of hours detectives spend investigating them.


They are the hardest to close, with insufficient physical evidence, unreliable or no witnesses, and little else to go on. And when new homicides begin to pile up every year, these cases often get lost in the shuffle after the most solid leads have been exhausted.

But a special squad of investigators created four years ago has been pursuing some of those unsolved homicides, some of which go back decades. The squad, called the Investigative Criminal Enforcement -- or ICE -- unit, has breathed new life into several cases that seemed destined never to be solved.


Manatee County Sheriff Charlie Wells created the unit in January 1994. ICE is composed of 14 people, some from the sheriff's office, and all with experience in law enforcement.


The unit members are unpaid. They volunteer anywhere from several hours to several days per week to the unit, depending on the progress of their investigations. The ICE investigators work the cases outside of their regular jobs.


"It's extremely interesting stuff," said Mike Latessa, the county's public safety director, who serves on the unit. "In a lot of respects, it's like opening up a murder mystery novel whodunit and trying to figure out who done it. But instead of a novel, it's a real-life situation."


Latessa and other ICE investigators said they aren't on the team just for the thrills. They consider it a community service to find the ultimate criminal -- the thief of a human life.


"Sometimes the dead are forgotten," Latessa said. "Everybody who's in (the ICE unit) does it to contribute back to the community."


CHASING GHOSTS


Many times, the suspects the unit seeks are seemingly as long-gone as the people whose lives were taken. The ICE investigators not only speak for ghosts, but in many cases are chasing ghosts as well.


When the unit was created, investigators received 22 unsolved murder cases -- some dating back decades. The ICE investigators sometimes work together on one case if they feel they are close to a suspect, but other times will divvy up the cases between them in search of solid clues.


That search often means leafing through mounds of paperwork and contacting hundreds of witnesses, family members and associates of the victim.


"It's fresh eyes looking at the cases from a new perspective," said Nancy Schoff, an interal affairs investigator who works on the ICE unit.


Sheriff's office Lt. Walt Wingfield, who leads the group, said the formation of the unit doesn't mean regular homicide detectives aren't doing their job. The unit can simply plow an enormous amount of manpower into cases, while homicide detectives often are pulled off old homicides as fresh ones pop up.


Capt. Connie Shingledecker, who oversees the Criminal Investigations Division at the sheriff's office, said the ICE unit complements the work homicide detectives have performed.


"There's things that may not have been considered," Shingledecker said. "Sometimes with current detectives, they're focused so much with what's on their plate right now. You always are welcoming any additional support you can get on those cases because they (the victims) have surviving family members and the cases should be resolved."


SOLVING RIDDLES


The ICE unit has investigated and resolved some hard-to-close cases that riddled investigators for years.


Of the 22 cases it received in 1994, an arrest has been made in two and a confession has been obtained by a someone on death row on a third.


In addition, prosecutors are reviewing evidence gathered against known suspects in two others.


The ICE unit got a confession out of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas in connection in the 1978 murder of Barbara Jean Robelen, who was abducted and murdered in Manatee County. Lucas is on death row in Texas, so ICE investigators didn't officially charge him. Lucas has been convicted of 13 murders, and at one time said he was involved in 360 others.


Investigators say Lucas and another man abducted and murdered Robelen. Ray Shannon, an investigator on the ICE unit, flew to Houston to interview Lucas.


"That was interesting talking to that man," Shannon recalled recently. "He acted like your long lost uncle, very friendly. But I got the feeling he would cut your throat and not even think about it. Very cold individual, but very friendly. It was spooky, especially considering his history."


Shannon, co-owner of Shannon Funeral Homes and owner of Westcoast-Southern Medical Service in Bradenton, has been on the unit since its inception. He has worked part time for the Bradenton Police Department, but never directly investigated a homicide before he joined the unit. He brings experience in body and cause-of-death examinations to the squad because of his funeral home education. The unit also has a doctor who helps decipher autopsy reports.


Shannon said family members of the victims often are pleased to hear the ICE unit is digging through the cases.


"They're very receptive and willing to talk to us because they want the perpetrator brought to justice," he said.


Shannon said if he's busy with other activities, he may only have three hours per week to devote to the squad. But when he travels to investigate the homicides, he may devote several days. The sheriff's office reimburses members of the squad for travel expenses.


In another case, the unit tracked down Erasmo Adame-Brisano in Texas and brought him back to Manatee County to face a charge of murdering his 20-year-old wife, Margarita Casio-Garcia.


Adame-Brisano was convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison in 1995.


Coincidentally, Adame-Brisano is the father of Lucas Ciambrone. Lucas was adopted by Joseph and Heather Ciambrone, who were later charged with the child abuse that killed Lucas in 1995.


The ICE unit also arrested a woman in connection with the 1987 murder of Todd McAfee, but the charge later was dropped. In addition, the unit tracked down Marco Antonio Raudales in February 1994 and charged him with the 1992 stabbing death of Francisco Diego.


The unit also has forwarded cases against two other suspects to prosecutors, who are reviewing the evidence to determine whether to file charges.


Members of the unit are: Wingfield, Schoff, Latessa, Shannon, Johnny Fugate, Ron Branch, Dr. Donn Keels, Ed Judy, Robert Degitz, Dan Molter, Fred Breen, Oscar Perez, Donna Stepanov and Gary Levesque.






Copyright (c) 1998 The Bradenton Herald


==================================================
UNSOLVED MURDER MYSTERIES CLEARED BY SPECIAL TEAM

Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)
August 31, 1997
Edition: ManateeA SECTION
STAFF REPORT
Section: A SECTION
Page: 20A
Record Number: 9708310306


The Manatee County sheriff's Investigative Criminal Enforcement (ICE) unit was formed in January 1994 to reinvestigate unsolved homicides that had ``met a dead end'' for the original detectives.


The unit has made four arrests since its inception, including the capture of two homicide fugitives in Missouri and Texas. The group of mostly volunteer members is continually working on at least one of the department's 20 or so unsolved cases, and they say they are close to making more arrests.

The following is a list of cases the ICE team has solved (in order):


* Marco Antonio Raudales was found in southeast Missouri in Feb. 1994, more than a year after an 18-year-old man was slain in Palmetto. Raudales was accused of stabbing the man to death on Christmas Eve 1992.


* Erasmo Adame-Briseno was arrested in connection with the stabbing death of his wife on Dec. 27, 1991, in Rosenburg, Texas, in March 1994 after he fled the state and the department issued a murder warrant for him. Briseno is accused of killing Margarita Casio-Garcia in front of their 2-year-old son, detectives said. The boy, Lucas Ciambrone, was adopted two years later and his parents, Heather and Joseph Ciambrone, are now on trial in the child's 1995 death.


* Ruthie Mae Anderson, a housekeeper, was arrested in Shaw, Miss., in Nov. 1994 in connection with the 1987 murder of Todd McAfee, 27. Anderson was indicted by a grand jury in 1995, but was never convicted because a witness recanted his statement.


* The 1978 murder of Barbara Robelen was solved in 1995 when convicted murderer Henry Lee Lucas confessed that he and Ottis Toole kidnapped and killed Robelen. Toole, who recently died on death row in Raiford State Penitentiary, was believed to have killed Adam Walsh, the 6-year-old Hollywood, Fla., boy, who was abducted from a Sears store near his home in 1981. Lucas told ICE investigators that he and Toole traveled the country killing people, including Robelen.






Copyright (c) 1997 Sarasota Herald-Tribune


==================================================
SPECIAL ICE TEAM SOLVES OLD CASES THE FORCE, MADE UP OF DEPUTIES AND VOLUNTEERS, HAS CLOSED A NUMBER OF PREVIOUSLY UNSOLVED MURDERS.

Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)
August 31, 1997
Edition: ManateeA SECTION
Kellie McMaster STAFF WRITER
Section: A SECTION
Page: 1A
Record Number: 9708310330


Have you heard of Barbara Robelen?


How about Francisco Diego?

Or Todd McAfee?


If not, you'll need to take a trip back in time with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.


Above are the names of former Manatee County residents whose identities have faded over the years. Their lives - and deaths - have been buried in manila folders and evidence boxes in the department's Criminal Investigation Unit for years.


Sometimes for more than two decades.


They are just a few of more than 20 homicide victims whose deaths have frustrated and sometimes baffled detectives over the years. Their cases have turned ``cold'' as leads fizzled out and tips stopped coming in.


In some cases, detectives knew the killers' identities, but they fled the area shortly after the murders, and detectives had no time or money to dedicate to the search - especially with the growing number of other cases.


But that was before ICE.


The Investigative Criminal Enforcement unit was created in 1994 to investigate old homicide cases that have ``met a dead-end'', Sheriff Charlie Wells said last week.


``It's sort of like Sherlock Holmes-type stuff,'' Wells said of the ICE team. ``They really have an opportunity to get inside the criminal's mind.''


And patience is the key, he said.


``This is not a unit you apply pressure to to get things done,'' he said. ``They must take the cases and methodically move through them. You're looking for things that may have been missed or overlooked.''

20-year-old case solved


So far, the ICE unit has ``reopened'' about six old cases, and made arrests in four of them, said Lt. Walt Wingfield, supervisor of the ICE unit and the Internal Affairs division.


``I believe in a very short time we'll knock off (number) five,'' he said, referring to a 1991 murder that the unit expects to solve soon. There are 22 others left to solve in department files.


The oldest case to be ``resurrected'' and closed by ICE is the 1978 murder of Barbara Robelen, one Wingfield thinks not many people remember.


But the men recently identified as her killers are two of the most notorious criminals in state history, ICE members say.


Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole are believed to have kidnapped and killed Robelen, a Circle K store clerk, on Oct. 23, 1978, after robbing the store for gas money.


The self-proclaimed killers traveled the country in the '70s and '80s, murdering and raping their victims. They have confessed to numerous murders, including Robelen's, in several states.


Toole, who recently died on death row in a Florida prison, confessed to kidnapping, raping and decapitating Adam Walsh, the 6-year-old Hollywood, Fla., boy whose disappearance launched a nationwide search in the '80s. Toole later recanted his statement about killing the boy, but he admitted to killing numerous others.


``Toole liked to cut peoples' heads off,'' Wingfield quoted Lucas as saying during a prison interview in 1995 with ICE investigators. Lucas is on death row in a prison near Austin, Texas, and, therefore, will not be brought back to Florida to face charges in Robelen's death, sheriff's officials said.

More arrests


Other ICE cases are just a few years old, but they have become a priority for the 10-member group because the suspects escaped before they could be arrested.


Such was the case with Erasmo Adame-Briseno of Palmetto, who was accused of killing his wife in front of their 2-year-old son, Wingfield said.


The boy, Lucas, was later adopted by a Bradenton couple, Joe and Heather Ciambrone, who are now facing first-degree murder charges in the boy's death in 1995.


Detectives began looking for Briseno in November 1991, shortly after his wife's death. ICE had not been officially created, but sheriff's workers - who would later become ICE members - started tracking him down in their spare time.


Nancy Schoff, an internal affairs investigator and original ICE member, found Briseno about 21/2 years later in Rosenburg, Texas, after following his driver's license records and contacting various law-enforcement cronies out west.


Briseno is now serving time for second-degree murder at the Hendry Correctional Institution in Immokalee, state Department of Corrections officials said Thursday.


A similar manhunt was launched for Marco Antonio Raudales in December 1992. The fruit picker, and once one of Manatee County's most wanted fugitives, was found in southeastern Missouri more than two years after the crime took place.


Raudales was wanted in connection with the stabbing of Francisco Diego, 18, which occurred at a Palmetto apartment complex on Christmas Eve 1992. Raudales left town after the murder and had been on the run until ICE investigators found him working in a cotton gin in Kennett, Mo., in February 1994.


He was brought back to Manatee County and charged with murder. He's currently serving out his sentence at Liberty Correctional Institution in Bristol, said Schoff, who worked on both the Briseno and Raudales cases.


The ICE team's fourth successful investigation ended in November 1994, with the arrest of Ruthie Mae Anderson.


Anderson, a former Bradenton housekeeper, was found and arrested in Shaw, Miss., about seven years after the murder of Todd McAfee, 27.


Sheriff's detectives originally thought three people murdered McAfee, a Myakka City tomato farm manager who had hired Anderson to clean his home. Farm workers discovered his body in a tomato field off State Road 70 on Aug. 18, 1987.


He had been shot once in the neck, and witnesses told investigators that three people - all white - were responsible. Anderson, who is black, wasn't a strong suspect.


``Unsolved Mysteries,'' a nationally broadcast television series, featured a story about McAfee's death on a February 1989 show. Anderson became a prime suspect after a former fellow inmate of Anderson's told Arcadia prosecutors that she confessed to the murder in jail.


Anderson was indicted by a Manatee County grand jury in November 1994 after ICE members interviewed the inmate and brought Anderson back from Mississippi. She was never convicted of the murder, though, because one of the state's witnesses refused to testify. She has been released from the state prison system, but DOC officials had no record of when.


ICE investigators believe she has returned to Shaw, Miss.

How ICE was formed


Wells said he came up with the idea for the ICE team several years ago after the long-awaited arrest of one former Manatee County man - James Burnside - who was suspected of killing his wife and had fled the state.


``We had hundreds of leads on this guy,'' Wells said of Burnside, who was arrested in Shelby County, Ala., on Oct. 24, 1991, the day after his photograph aired on ``Unsolved Mysteries.''


``We wanted to follow up on them, but couldn't,'' Wells said, re-emphasizing the department's shortage in manpower and money.


Soon after, he called on a few of his Internal Affairs workers and several members of the community - mostly retired law-enforcement officers - to delve deeper into the mysteries.


The idea is that, with time, the witnesses and people involved in the cases will be more willing to talk. Or, if someone is in jail on another crime, he or she may be more willing to confess.


``It's a time-consuming task,'' he said. ``But there are a lot of resources out there in retired cops and volunteers.''


Wingfield, Schoff and Ed Judy - another internal affairs investigator - are the sheriff's employees on the ICE team.


Schoff says that whenever her caseload of internal investigations is low, she starts working on ICE cases. ``I just start calling other agencies and doing searches,'' said Schoff. ``I really love it. It's great.''


The others are community volunteers who have an interest in or past experience in law enforcement:


* Dan Molter, owner of Molter Pest Control and a board member with American Bank.


* Ray Shannon, owner of Shannon Funeral Home and retired Manatee County sheriff's officer.


* Dr. Donn Keels, a local physician.


* Mike Latessa, the county's public safety director.


* Oscar Perez and James Huffstutter, both retired sheriff's employees.


One officer from the Bradenton Police Department also works with the team, but that position rotates each year, Wingfield said.


Most of the volunteers chose not to comment about ICE or their involvement with the group. They were concerned they might say too much and jeopardize one of their cases.


But Wingfield said they are the ones who deserve most of the credit.


``You would not believe the ungodly number of hours these guys are working,'' he said, describing the lengthy work sessions the group conducts each month. ``It's about all of us pitching in together. But these guys, (the volunteers), they just love what they do.''




Copyright (c) 1997 Sarasota Herald-Tribune


==================================================
GUNS MAY TIE THIEVES TO DEATH

Bradenton Herald, The (FL)
June 8, 1995
Edition: FinalLocal
Annette Gillespie, Herald Staff Writer
Section: Local
Page: L1
Record Number: 9506080815


Manatee County sheriff's detectives are appealing to gun owners in a search for five guns that might help solve a 1987 murder.


The guns were stolen from the home of Todd McAfee, 27, who was found dead Aug. 18, 1987, in a tomato field near the DeSoto County line. He was shot to death Aug. 17 at his home and his body was dumped about a mile away.

McAfee, a gun collector, was killed when he came home and interrupted a burglary involving at least three people. Manatee County sheriff's detectives believe McAfee was shot with a gun belonging to one of the perpetrators, or possibly with a gun from McAfee's own collection.


If detectives can find the guns, they may be able to trace them back to the people who burglarized McAfee's property in 1986 and in 1987, when McAfee was killed. That information could link the burglars to the murder.


Detectives arrested McAfee's former housekeeper, Ruthie Anderson, in Shaw, Miss., in October and charged her in McAfee's death. A Manatee County grand jury later indicted Anderson, 42, on a first-degree murder charge.


Her trial is scheduled to start July 3.


Anderson's husband, Wilbur, has not been charged in the case, according to Chief Assistant State Attorney Deno Economou. Wilbur Anderson is serving a prison sentence in Mississippi for an unrelated robbery case that happened after McAfee's murder. He is expected to be released the summer of 1996.


Ballistics tests showed that McAfee was not killed with any of the firearms already recovered in the murder case, according to sheriff's Inspector Ed Judy. However, Judy said McAfee owned other guns.


Sheriff's officials have released descriptions of five missing guns that have complete or partial serial numbers.


``We feel pretty comfortable that the guns are going to be over in the Arcadia area,'' Judy said. The Andersons were living in that area at time of murders and may have sold some of the guns between August 1987 and March 1989, he said.


``More than likely, the people who bought these guns don't know the circumstances surrounding them,'' Judy said.


``We're not interested in hassling anyone, we're asking for help in solving this murder,'' Judy said.


``We will reimburse them for any of their expenses for the items. Normally, we don't list the serial numbers, but this just shows how desperate we are.''






Copyright (c) 1995 The Bradenton Herald


==================================================
MISSISSIPPI WOMAN INDICTED IN TOMATO FARMER'S DEATH

Bradenton Herald, The (FL)
November 4, 1994
Edition: FinalLocal
Annette Gillespie, Herald Staff Writer
Section: Local
Page: L2
Record Number: 9411040233


A Manatee County grand jury indicted a 41-year-old Mississippi woman Thursday on a first-degree murder charge in the death of tomato farmer Todd McAfee.


Manatee County sheriff's deputies issued an arrest warrant Oct. 13 for the victim's former housekeeper, Ruthie Anderson, of Shaw, Miss. Anderson is being held in a Cleveland, Miss., jail where she is awaiting extradition.

Deputies said Anderson worked as McAfee's part-time maid.


McAfee, 27, was found dead Aug. 18, 1987, in a tomato field near the DeSoto County line. He was shot to death Aug. 17 at his home and his body was dumped about a mile away, deputies said.


The television show Unsolved Mysteries profiled the murder about three years ago. Tips resulting from the show trickled in over the years, but detectives said their biggest break came from a prison inmate who claims Anderson told him about the murder.


Jacob Wesley Scott, 44, met Anderson while both were inmates in the DeSoto County jail, according to Anderson's arrest warrant. They became friends and exchanged personal notes, according to the warrant.


Anderson and three accomplices went to the home and began stealing while McAfee was away, the warrant states. McAfee was killed when he came home and interrupted the burglary, reports state.






Copyright (c) 1994 The Bradenton Herald


==================================================
WOMAN JAILED IN OLD KILLING

Bradenton Herald, The (FL)
October 20, 1994
Edition: FinalFront
Tony Attrino, Herald Staff Writer
Section: Front
Page: F1
Record Number: 9410200201


A 7-year-old Manatee County murder mystery unraveled some Wednesday as sheriff's deputies announced the arrest of the victim's former housekeeper.


The sheriff's Investigative Criminal Enforcement (ICE) unit earlier this week charged Ruthie Anderson, 41, of Shaw, Miss., in the murder of tomato farmer Todd McAfee.

McAfee's murder on Aug. 17, 1987, was overshadowed the next day by the shooting death of Florida Highway Patrol trooper Jeffrey Young.


McAfee, 27, was found dead Aug. 18, 1987, in a tomato field near the DeSoto County line. He was shot to death at his home and his body was dumped about a mile away, deputies said.


The same day McAfee's body was found, Manatee County deputies joined other law enforcement officers in a manhunt to capture a suspect in the shooting of Trooper Young.


Sheriff Charlie Wells said deputies focused most of their attention on the Young murder because they had a prime suspect in that case.


But sheriff's Capt. Mike Mayer said it is impossible to tell whether a suspect in McAfee's killing could have been caught any sooner if the Young murder had not occurred.


``This investigation didn't suffer because of Trooper Young's homicide,'' Mayer added.


McAfee's death was one of six local unsolved murders the ICE unit has been working on this year, Wells said.


Anderson was held Wednesday night in a Cleveland, Miss., jail where she is awaiting extradition, Wells said.


Detectives said Anderson worked as McAfee's part-time maid.


The television show Unsolved Mysteries profiled the murder about three years ago, Wells said.


Tips resulting from the show trickled in over the years, but detectives said their biggest break came from a prison inmate who claims Anderson told him about the murder.


Jacob Wesley Scott, 44, met Anderson while both were inmates in the DeSoto County jail, according to Anderson's arrest warrant.


They became friends and exchanged personal notes, according to the warrant.


``Ruthie Anderson began talking from time to time about her involvement in the McAfee murder,'' the warrant states.


Scott told detectives Anderson planned to steal money, firearms and other items from McAfee's home.


Anderson and three accomplices went to the home and began stealing while McAfee was away, the warrant states.


McAfee was killed when he came home and interrupted the burglary, reports state.


Wells said he anticipates at least three other arrests, including Wilbur Anderson, who is Ruthie Anderson's husband.


Scott remains jailed in Florida for an armed robbery conviction. Wells said Scott did not receive special treatment for turning in Anderson.


``He wanted to help somebody,'' Wells said. ``I know it seems strange, but that's exactly what it is.''






Copyright (c) 1994 The Bradenton Herald


==================================================
SPECIAL SQUAD SEEKS CLUES IN HOMICIDES

Bradenton Herald, The (FL)
January 23, 1994
Edition: FinalLocal
Beth Muniz, Herald Staff Writer
Section: Local
Page: B1
Record Number: 9401260233


Anna Bobbitt worries.


She worries her son's violent murder is ``old news.'' She worries the killer will never be caught.

Worse, she worries he'll kill again.


William ``Billy'' Bobbitt, husband and father of two, was gunned down in the early hours of Feb. 26 as he left for work. His murder is still unsolved.


``My heart will mourn the death of my first-born for the rest of my life,'' Anna Bobbitt said. ``I know that nothing or no one can bring my son back, but we have to keep fighting to keep these scum off the streets.''


William Bobbitt's case is one of 21 unsolved homicides in unincorporated Manatee County since 1974.


But a newly appointed special squad will review and rework every case, looking for new leads, Sheriff Charlie Wells said.


``We've got new eyes to look at these,'' Wells said. ``We want to make sure we've searched every corner to solve these cases.''


Chief Inspector Walt Wingfield is overseeing the operation, which could take months.


Squad members will work with the original investigating officers, when possible, Wingfield said. In some older cases, the investigating officers no longer work with the sheriff's office.


``The caseloads are heavy on these officers,'' Wingfield said. ``What we are trying to do is keep these cases going instead of becoming stagnant. We are not trying to take over anything or start another homicide unit, we are just trying to give help where we can.''


Wells also wants to offer large monetary incentives for people to help with these cases.


``What I would like to do is, either through Crime Stoppers or another unit, establish a reward for these major cases,'' Wells said.


Crime Stoppers now pays a reward of as much as $1,000 for information leading to an arrest, but Wells wants to establish a separate fund and offer more money for these unsolved homicides. He hopes to raise $15,000 to $20,000 in reward money.


``We are hoping this will help solve some of these big cases,'' he said.


Two types of cases will be examined: those with no suspects and those with known suspects who can't be found.


For example, Erasmo Adame-Briceno has been wanted by the law since November 1991.


That's when the 5-foot-9, 250-pound man is accused of stabbing his wife to death while she was cooking in their kitchen at 2214 21st St. E. near Palmetto. Margarita Casio-Garcia was stabbed with a large kitchen knife, according to sheriff's reports.


He was seen fleeing the home moments after the 1 p.m. incident. Casio-Garcia, in her dying declaration, named her husband as her killer, reports stated.


Detectives traced Adame-Briceno, then 44, to the home of a girlfriend. The woman told detectives he came to her home, but did not tell her that he killed his wife. Adame-Briceno disappeared the following morning when the girlfriend read about the murder in the newspaper and confronted him with it.


He has not been seen since.


Investigators don't know who killed Todd McAfee in 1987.


McAfee, 27, was shot to death when he returned home from his job as a tomato farm manager.


McAfee, a gun collector, apparently surprised three burglars in his home about 6:45 p.m. Aug. 17, 1987. He was shot to death with guns from his collection, according to records.


Anna Bobbitt said she hopes the new efforts of the sheriff's office bring justice for her son and other victims and their families.


``I think it will be great if it helps,'' Anna Bobbitt said. ``I know the sheriff's people are working hard, but something needs to be done. You have people killing people out there.


``We do not have a clue to why he is killed,'' she said of her son. ``I will not give up. Not just for him, but for everybody. Nobody should have to go through something like this.''






Copyright (c) 1994 The Bradenton Herald


==================================================
TV'S `UNSOLVED MYSTERIES' WILL FEATURE LOCAL MURDER

Bradenton Herald, The (FL)
September 13, 1989
Edition: FinalLocal
Herald Staff Report
Section: Local
Page: B3
Record Number: 8909134751


One of Manatee County's unsolved murders will be featured on this week's episode of the NBC television program Unsolved Mysteries.


The shooting death of 27-year-old Todd McAfee of Myakka City will be highlighted in today's show 8 p.m. on Channel 8.

The tomato farm manager was found dead near a tomato field about two miles from his Myakka City trailer home Aug. 18, 1987.


Manatee County Sheriff's Office detective Ned Foy has been working on the case, but no arrests have been made, according to sheriff's office reports.


Film crews with the network show were in Manatee County in February to recreate the crime.


Sheriff's office officials here are hoping the broadcast will provide new leads in the case.






Copyright (c) 1989 The Bradenton Herald


==================================================
Burglars blamed in slaying of tomato farm manager

St. Petersburg Times
September 12, 1987
Edition: CITYMETRO AND STATE
KAREN DATKO
Section: METRO AND STATE
Page: 3B
Record Number: 004


BRADENTON - The manager of a large tomato farm found shot to death in a field was killed when he walked in on a burglary at his home, the Manatee County Sheriff's Department said Friday.
Detectives are searching for an orange van seen at the house shortly before the Aug. 17 shooting, a department spokesman said.


Witnesses told detectives they saw a van of the same description carrying three people and a firearm in Myakka City on Aug. 17. Todd McAfee, 27, manager of Bonita Farms, was killed about 6:45 p.m. that day, said sheriff's spokesman Dave Bristow.


McAfee's body was found the next day in a field on the tomato farm, about seven miles east of Myakka City. Bristow said the suspects used McAfee's pickup truck to drive the body to the field.


The van sought by deputies is a mid- to late-1970s model with a tinted porthole near the rear. It has no other side windows.


Two white men and a white woman were with the van in Myakka City, witnesses told police. One man was described as 5 feet 8 and 180 pounds with a light growth of beard and curly, sandy brown hair. He appeared to be in his early to mid-30s.


The second man was 6 feet to 6 feet 2 with a thin build and straight, brown, shoulder-length hair. The woman was described as 5 feet 6 with a very thin build. She was in her mid- to late 20s and had a light complexion and light brown shoulder-length hair, witnesses said.


Bristow declined to say what type of firearm was seen.


Private citizens have set up a reward fund to aid police in the search for McAfee's killers, Bristow said. Donations totaling $1,000 have been made to the Todd McAfee Reward Fund at First State Bank, he said.
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:29 AM   #2
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I believe it's Dateline NBC that sells videotapes of its past broadcasts, but eek, they're not cheap. I believe one episode is like $150 or some other astronomical number. Since UM is a similar show that was also on NBC, I was thinking about whether or not they did this for UM. I doubt it though. But it might be worth checking into, maybe I'll do it.

I was wondering if any non-SO posters would have put it up on the bad site, but apparently not, at least not so far. There is a lot rare stuff on there, so I figured it was a possiblity.

Darn Justin, you've got me so intigued with this case now.
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:12 AM   #3
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btw, that was some good sleuthing there Justin. I had searched the net a while back for info on this case, and the only thing that came up was a link that I didn't bother to post because I knew you had already posted it.

I was intrigued when it stated that leads had trickled in over the years due to the UM viewings. I was thinking it was just shown that one time in 1989, but that statement would suggest it was repeated for a few years following 1989? Anyone have any idea about subsequent airings?
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiseguy182
I believe it's Dateline NBC that sells videotapes of its past broadcasts, but eek, they're not cheap. I believe one episode is like $150 or some other astronomical number. Since UM is a similar show that was also on NBC, I was thinking about whether or not they did this for UM. I doubt it though. But it might be worth checking into, maybe I'll do it.
There are studio copies of the first three (pre-Stack) specials circulating, so I wouldn't rule it out.
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:12 AM   #5
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I spent a good portion of the night going through a stash of old tapes, and while I found a lot of old, rare and interesting gems of various things, there was no Todd Mcaffee segment. Just wanted to let you all know that I tried. I will keep my eye out for it.
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:17 PM   #6
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Dammit! I just about fell off my tricycle when I saw this thread had been bumped to the top. Thanks for checking though, Wiseguy. Did you find any old UM stuff?

I was going through some tapes recently and found an old tape I used for time shifting years ago and it contained the original airing of that episode about the guy who was rescued by unidentified good Samaritans and the Vince Foster suicide cover up. Being that it was so late in the run of the series, I didn't consider it a significant find.

Kind of a hollow victory, I suppose. It's like finding you have the original airing of the Cokeville school explosion episode.
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Old 12-22-2007, 12:33 AM   #7
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the only UM item I found was a 1997 CBS promo for an upcoming episode about Elvis. Hardly worth mentioning.
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Old 12-28-2007, 12:34 PM   #8
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very interesting case, i think it's great that you can find good information on just about every case out there...plus this ICE unit is pretty cool
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Old 04-20-2018, 01:35 PM   #9
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I think the witness who saw the 3 people in the orange van was mistaken, or that those people had nothing to do with Todd's death.

This article goes into some more information:

Quote:
In 1994, deputies arrested Ruthie Anderson, 41, who had been hired to clean Todd McAfee’s trailer once a week. They had gotten a tip from a prison inmate that Anderson, her husband, who worked on the farm, and another man had planned to steal from McAfee.

The McAfees went to the trial, hoping it would be the end of their ordeal.

But the key witness backed out at the last minute. Anderson was free. Her husband, who was caught selling McAfee’s stolen guns, was never charged.
Anderson and her husband are both black (and I think I found them on Facebook), which means that they could not have been the same people the gas station eyewitness saw. It's also interesting to note that the segment mentions that McAfee's trailer was burglarized a year prior to his death. Who would have the opportunity to do that other than someone known to him? And who would know the comings and goings of him best? The housekeeper. and her husband. They're guilty as sin, IMO.

Here's another semi-recent article about the case.
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Old 04-21-2018, 11:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCars1986
I think the witness who saw the 3 people in the orange van was mistaken, or that those people had nothing to do with Todd's death.

This article goes into some more information:



Anderson and her husband are both black (and I think I found them on Facebook), which means that they could not have been the same people the gas station eyewitness saw. It's also interesting to note that the segment mentions that McAfee's trailer was burglarized a year prior to his death. Who would have the opportunity to do that other than someone known to him? And who would know the comings and goings of him best? The housekeeper. and her husband. They're guilty as sin, IMO.

Here's another semi-recent article about the case.
good info here. I wish I could see their pictures so I could compare their mugs with the creepy ones on the show. I searched a wilbur anderson on facebook and it's an old rough looking guy that has a mixture of christian posts and profanity....so I'm guessing he's guilty
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