Sheriff: Winder double murder 'not a cold case'


Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith

By Joe Johnson

After four months of investigation, authorities are stumped in their probe into the murders of an elderly couple in their Winder home.

William Hess, 71, and his wife, Dorothy Hess, 72, were found shot to death on May 20 by their grandson inside their home on Southridge Road, in a neighborhood on the west side of Fort Yargo State Park, according to the sheriff’s office.


William Hess

“It’s not a cold case,” Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith said this week. “We are using many efforts to solve the case. The case is being worked on every day.”

Despite those efforts, investigators have not identified any suspects or possible motives for the double murder.

According to Smith. Investigators were awaiting the results of DNA evidence testing that was done at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s State Crime Lab.

The GBI is assisting with the investigation.

Soon after the murders, the sheriff’s office released security camera photos of what could be a significant clue – images of a strange car that was parked in front of the Hess home. The dark-colored sedan reportedly was seen there at least twice in the week prior to the victims’ bodies being found.


Image of the strange car that was seen parked outside the home of William and Dorothy Hess prior to their murders in May

“We still don’t know who was driving the car, but we believe they are a crucial piece of evidence and believe they can answer some questions that we need answered,” Smith said.

Anyone with information about this case should contact Investigator Jason Smith at (770) 307-3080.

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