$10k reward offered in murder of Oconee Co. store clerk


By Joe Johnson

$10,000 reward is being offered offered for information which leads to the arrest of the suspect or suspects in the murder of an Oconee County convenience store clerk on Friday.

The FBI and RaceTrac have donated $5,000 each towards this reward, according to the Oconee County Sheriff's Office.

The slain clerk was Elijah Woods, 23, of Watkinsville.


Murder victim Elijah Woods

There also has been an outpouring of interest from the community and businesses to donate money for a reward.

In response, Sheriff James Hale has set up “The Sheriff’s Reward fund” with Oconee State Bank. This fund will allow businesses and citizens to donate money for the purpose of issuing rewards for information in criminal cases.

If you wish to donate you may visit any Oconee State Bank location and advise them you wish to donate to the “Sheriff’s Reward Fund”. You may remain anonymous if you wish. Donations are non-refundable.

The money in this account will be managed by Oconee State Bank and can only be used for rewards for information in criminal cases. Any money raised over the posted reward amount will remain in the account for future rewards.

The deadly shooting occurred between 1 and 2 a.m. at the RaceTrac located on U.S. Highway 441 at Hog Mountain Road.

Hale said it was not immediately known if robbery was the motive.

The call originated from a customer who discovered the victim lying on the floor behind the counter.

Woods' killer, who was dressed all in black, reportedly walked directly to the counter and shot the clerk.

close-up images of the RaceTrac killer's face

”This is a tough day for us,” the sheriff said the day of the murder. ”We know Elijah and his family well, in a good way. We didn’t have to look up his father’s address because we already knew where he lives. The family has numerous friends here. We urge anyone with information about this incident to contact us.”

a Gofundme account has been established to assist Wood’s family with burial expenses at

https://gofund.me/9e12dd43

"We appreciate all of the tips and insights from our citizens and concerned followers on Facebook," said a Monday afternoon post on the OCSO's Facebook page.

"If you have information regarding this case we ask that you not post the information in the comments on Facebook. Please call it in to the Sheriff’s Office at (706) 769-3945 or send the information to one of the following emails:

zeaton@oconeesheriff.org

ssmith@oconeesheriff.org

gsanders@oconeesheriff.org

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