VALDOSTA -- More than 10 years have passed since Wanda Temples worked her first murder case as a detective for the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. Today, she thinks of the case often, not because it was her first, but because it remains among ones not solved.
"I look at this case and know that there are people around here who know what happened," Temples said. "Maybe the people (involved) left, are in prison or perhaps dead. I think it may be safe for someone to come forward."
It began as a missing person's report regarding a 61-year-old insurance salesman named Grant Green who didn't return home Sept. 1, 1993, from his sales route in Valdosta in the Hudson Dockett area. It culminated with the discovery of a man's body dumped in a field off Old Statenville Highway, a body later identified as Green's.
Jimmy Bennett, the manager at American General Insurance Company, called the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office stating Green's wife had called him from Adel concerned that her husband had not returned home.
"The salesman had ridden the area looking for Green because they knew something must have happened," Temples said. "I felt at that time something had happened and we needed to be looking for a body."
Bennett told Temples that it was common for Green to take a large sum of money with him in order to cash his customers' Social Security checks so they could pay their insurance premiums. Many of the customers lived in the Hudson Dockett housing project and in the surrounding area. Green's abandoned truck was found in the same vicinity.
"We found the truck on Savannah Avenue off of Clay Road, at a dead end parked by an abandoned house," Temples said. "This was a popular parking spot, but there were also several trails leading back into Hudson Dockett."
The search for the body was focused in the same area. And it was found in knee-deep grass in a field off Highway 94, Statenville Highway.
"There was no effort to hide the body," Temples said. "We know that robbery was the motive. His wallet in addition to the insurance money was gone."
Temples thinks people know what happened and even possibly who committed the heinous crime. She hopes the passage of time and the fact $10,000 in reward money is still available will encourage someone to come forward.
"A lot of people know what happened, but may not have told it for their own safety," Temples said. "If they will come forward, they can help us solve this case and possibly get the $10,000 reward."
Temples also thinks maybe the people or person involved in the death of Green may have left the area, be in prison or even be dead."
"There hasn't been another case like this one," Temples said. "I think it may be safe for someone to come forward now."
In addition to the Green case, Temples said she still has other unsolved murders that include: Diane Hamilton, 1989; Ray Felton 1999; Jennifer Jordan, 2000; and Joy Morris, 2002.
"All we need is some additional information that can give us a new direction with these cases," Temples said. "Whoever did any of these murders needs to be off of the streets."
Temple said that anyone with information should call 229-333-5138.
To contact Tanya B. O'Berry, call 244-3400, ext. 239.
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