(Editors note: The following story is part two of a series examining unsolved murders in Madison County.)
Sometimes, solving a murder isn’t an easy task. Sometimes human actions remove vital DNA evidence, bullets are untraceable and the murder remains unsolved.
In Madison County, there are 11 unsolved murders, dating from 1975 to 2008. However, officers will continue to work to solve murders, no matter how much time has elapsed, even if the killer is dead, murders can still be solved because murder cases never close, said Lt. Blake Slone, of the Kentucky State Police.
All 11 cases are being profiled in chronological order. This story is the second of a four part series, which will run every Monday through Dec. 6.
Although all of the cases here are being investigated by KSP, there are four unsolved murder cases being investigated by Richmond Police. Those cases will be profiled in later stories.
Donald Saylor Jr., 18, of Lisa Ann Court, was found shot to death in a field on Muddy Creek Road. He died Jan. 30, 1987. His body was discovered in the Central Kentucky Wildlife Management Area by an Eastern Kentucky University security officer. Police believe that Saylor was killed elsewhere and his body dumped in the wildlife area about eight-and-a-half miles south of Richmond, according to an article published Feb. 2, 1987, in the Richmond Register.
Saylor was killed by a small caliber weapon and had been shot in the head and chest.
He had been scheduled to stand trial Feb. 2 on burglary charges in connection with the Oct. 3, 1986, burglary of a residence on Lexington Road, the article stated.
Saylor’s death occurred two weeks after that of Maverick Club owner Monroe Brock, who was shot through his bedroom window by a sniper.
Police believe that Saylor often frequented the club and may have known Brock, although it is unclear if the two men’s deaths are connected, police said.
Charles Reppert, 40, of Big Hill, had been dead for more than 48 hours when his body was found by his brother at 3:45 p.m. Jan. 11, 1991.
Reppert lived on KY 421 in a mobile home near Big Hill Auto Parts, six miles east of Berea, and had been shot in the head. His body was discovered in his kitchen, according to a Richmond Register news article published Jan. 12, 1991.
Police believe Reppert was killed with a small caliber weapon, possibly a handgun.
“There was no reason why he was killed,” said retired KSP detective and former Richmond Police Chief Bob Stephens. He also said that Reppert was not known to have any enemies or be involved in any type of illegal activity.
Foul play in his death was suspected from the beginning of the investigation, the article stated.
“We never could connect anybody who wanted to kill him, we don’t know why he was killed,” Stephens said.
The fatal shot which killed Reppert appeared to have pierced a door to his home before the bullet fatally penetrated his body.
‘Baby’ Jane Doe
The body of a deceased 1-day-old infant girl was discovered amid the trash and refuse at the Madison County Landfill on Nov. 22, 1991.
A worker at the landfill found the full-term deceased infant girl lying in the trash. The infant had come from a garbage truck which had just finished taking garbage from the Eastern Kentucky University.
In an act that would harm the case, the landfill worker took the dead infant, whose tiny body was covered in dirt and blood, to the top of a nearby hill and wrapped the baby in a sweater, according to an article published in the Eastern Progress in Dec., 1991.
By wrapping the infant in the sweater, any DNA evidence on her body was contaminated and became irretrievable, Slone said.
An autopsy determined that the baby had been born alive, but was killed from being exposed to the elements.
The garbage truck had made many stops on campus that day, including female residence halls Martin and Dupree. In addition, the truck made stops at: Mattox, O’Donnell, Todd and Commonwealth Halls, as well as, Alumni Coliseum, Begley, Carter, Adams, Perkins, Stratton and Dizney buildings, family housing, Model Laboratory School, Million House, Alumni House, the state police barracks and Vickers Village, according to the article.
This was the second infant to die of exposure after being placed in the trash on the EKU campus in 1991. In April, the dead body of a newborn girl was found in the trash. That baby, too, had died of exposure. An autopsy would determine the baby had been born two weeks premature.
A 19-year-old sophomore, Pamela Michelle Harris, was convicted in Aug. 1991 of concealing the birth of an infant and abuse of a corpse, in connection with the death of the April infant, according to the article. The Lenoir, N.C., native was sentenced to counseling. Harris originally had been charged with manslaughter, but that charge was reduced, the article stated. The article also said that a newborn infant girl was found alive in the bushes in 1981 near the Cammack Building.
Anyone with any information on these cases is asked to call Slone at 623-2404, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.