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ERIC CATES: Man and his dog Gypsy found murdered in burnt truck in Walker County, AL - March 2015

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by ~Lyric~, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. ~Lyric~

    ~Lyric~ Bronze Member

    It truly baffles the mind with today's technology it still takes months to at least say what the cause of death is.
    Red and fran like this.
  2. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Authorities conducting polygraph tests in Cates death

    Though its been five months since Eric Cates was found dead in a burned-out truck in Walker County, investigators say they are still working daily to solve the Cullman native’s apparent murder.

    Walker County Sheriff Jim Underwood said the case is still active, and they continue to chase down leads every few days in an effort to determine exactly what happened to Cates on the night of March 20. Just this week, the sheriff’s office conducted a handful of polygraph tests on persons of interest in the case.

    The family has raised $25,000 as a reward for anyone who can provide information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.

    spike and Kimster like this.
  3. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Deaths of man and dog found in burned truck remain a mystery 1 year later
    March 2016

    One year later, mystery surrounds the deaths of a man and his dog found burned in a pickup truck in Walker County.

    Still seeking answers, the Cates-Stover family has increased the reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in their son Eric Cates' death to $25,000.

    Cates' toxicology reports and autopsy are still not available and there have been no arrests made in the case.

    Crystal Corley, a family friend and employee at a local gas station called The Blue Store, was the last person known to see Cates the night before his body was found. She has never been formally questioned by police, she said.

    He visited The Blue Store around 8 p.m. on March 20, 2015, and filled up his truck with gas. There was another man in the small store, and Corley said that he appeared to be intoxicated. Cates, who was protective of the women that run the store, stayed there until the man left.

    Cameras on the side of the gas station showed Cates going down Coon Creek Road towards Hill Road, which leads into neighborhoods and eventually to the old Empire school building, where his body and truck were found the next day.

    "There's only one way in, and one way out," Corley said.

    Cameras are located on a few buildings down that same road, but Stover said that she has never seen the tapes or been told what is recorded on them.

    The cause of death has never been released to the family, either. Stover said that there was evidence of soot in his lungs, meaning he was "barely alive, but alive" when he was burned. The family believes that Gypsy may have been burned alive.

    spike, Red and Paradise like this.
  4. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Vigil planned for Walker Co. homicide victim

    It's been nearly two years since a Walker County man and his dog were found murdered and burned inside a truck in the Empire community and still no arrests in the case.

    Eric Cates and his dog, Gypsy, were last seen around 8 p.m. on March 20, 2015.

    Around 3 a.m. the next day, hunters found his truck burning behind the old Empire Elementary School.

    The remains of Cates and Gypsy were inside.

    Not a day goes by that Tobbie Stover doesn't think about her son.

    "He was a prankster, happy go lucky, a good boy, very protective," said Stover.

    In fact, Stover says her son was protecting a woman, the last time he was seen alive.

    "The young lady that was closing the store that night was there by herself," said Stover, "Eric wouldn't leave her until she closed up and he followed her to her car."

    Stover says what happened between then and when his truck was found is still a mystery.

    She believes several people killed Eric and Gypsy and then drove his truck behind the old school and set it on fire.

    Stover believes she knows who killed her son and she even suspects a motive.

    "They thought Eric had cashed his income tax check and had it on him, but he didn't," said Stover.

    Walker County Sheriff Jim Underwood says this is still an active case and they are pursuing several leads.

    Sheriff Underwood couldn't release a lot of new information due to the ongoing investigation.


  5. TribeofTiger

    TribeofTiger Well-Known Member

    This needs to be investigated by the FBI or some other outside agency who can hold the police and coroner accountable for their actions (or lack thereof.)
  6. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Sounds like they probably know who did it and are needing evidence for an arrest.

    If you're reading this and have a tip, BE BRAVE ! CALL IT IN!
    TribeofTiger and spike like this.
  7. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    $5K reward offered in unsolved murder

    Gov. Kay Ivey’s office has authorized a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in an unsolved murder case dating back to March 2015.

    The reward is offered for information about who may have brutally killed Eric Cates, whose body was found On March 21, 2015, inside his pickup truck behind the former Empire School.

    “It’s been a tough case,” said Walker County Sheriff Jim Underwood. “We have never received an actual cause of death, and that makes it a lot more complicated for us.”

    Underwood said investigators have spent many hours working on the case and have interviewed between 50 and 60 people, but no information has come forward that has led to an arrest.

    “We’ve continued to investigate this case, and we have received numerous tips that we’ve followed up on,” Underwood said, “but none have led us to a credible suspect.”

    Anyone who may have information on Cates’ death is aked to call the Walker County Sheriff’s Office at (205) 302-6464. Anonymous tips can also be reported by text via the department’s Tip 411 tip line.

    “This was a heinous crimes, and we hope to one day give the Cates family closure on this,” Underwood said.

  8. spike

    spike Bronze Member

    Was so hoping this was an arrest.
  9. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    State asked to investigate Cates cold case

    Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith has asked that the State Bureau of Investigation review the case of Eric Cates, a 32-year-old whose body was discovered inside a burned pickup behind the old Empire School in March 2015.

    The case files were turned over to the SBI on Wednesday.

    Smith said Tuesday that his office will also be cooperating with Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry, whose previous attempts to assist with the investigation were rebuffed.

    "He (Gentry) wants to work on the Cates case and a missing persons case on a female that they have involving Walker County. He said he feels like they are both very solvable cases, but it's going to take the cooperation of both departments," Smith said.

    Cates' mother, Tobbie Stover, said she is pleased that Smith has reached out to the SBI.

    MORE: http://mountaineagle.com/stories/state-asked-to-investigate-cates-cold-case,19431
    spike likes this.
  10. spike

    spike Bronze Member

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed likes this.
  11. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Walker County Sheriff's Office looking to bring closure to families of cold case victims

    ABC 33/40 is learning more about the new cold case unit run by the Walker County Sheriff's Office. Thanks to one man, the department can finally give unsolved cases the attention they deserve.

    One of those cases: the unsolved murder of Eric Cates.

    "To know that there was soot in my son's lungs, knowing that he was breathing...." says Tobbie Stover, Cates' mother.

    Cates and his dog, Gypsy, were found burned behind a building in Walker County in 2015.

    "This has been an ongoing battle for us. We're still waiting for answers. We're still waiting for someone to tell us what exactly they're going to do," says Stover.

    Stover thinks about it every day.

    "You would think that it's been almost 5 years that it would get better, but it doesn't.The emotional strain and drain catches up with you," she says.


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