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Darke County, Ohio is farm country. It’s also a place where greed can grow.
This rural landscape is where 51-year-old Jack Myers and his 55-year-old wife, Linda, made a home on a 40-acre farm. They ran a pizza shop and rented out residential properties and helped raise their 4-year-old great-grandson, Dameon.
On March 27, 2003, the couple was killed in a shocking double homicide. They were shot with a shotgun at point-blank range while they slept. Dameon, who lived with them, found their bodies the next morning.
The boy ran a mile down the road to a church that housed a daycare, where he reported that his loved ones “were melting.”
Officials raced to the Myers home. They understood what Dameon meant when they saw the blood-soaked couple. “It was one of the more graphic scenes I’ve ever experienced,” one told “In Ice Cold Blood,” hosted by Ice-T and airing Sundays at 7/6c and 8/7c on Oxygen.
Detectives searched in and around the house. They found that a basement window had been removed and a shoe print was nearby. They discovered that the phone line was cut and that money and other valuables were untouched. Traces of blood in Dameon’s bedroom suggested that the killer had been there.
Dameon told investigators that during the night he’d heard someone come up the stairs to his room and come in. The person, the boy said, looked like a “green dragon.” Authorities considered the possibility that the killer had been wearing green clothing.
Dameon was placed with a foster family for safety’s sake, according to “In Ice Cold Blood.”
As police worked the case, a Myers neighbor told them that around 4:40 a.m. on March 27 she had seen an unfamiliar van in the area.
Investigators also interviewed members of the Myers family. They learned Jack Myers had two sons from a previous marriage: Gregg Myers, 25, and Travis Myers, 28.
The elder brother reportedly had a contentious relationship with his dad and he admitted it when he spoke with detectives. Travis also revealed that he was driving his mother’s vehicle: a white minivan. But Travis also had a solid alibi that checked out.
“We still asked Travis to take a computer voice stress test to prove whether he was telling the truth or not,” Mark Whittaker, Chief Deputy, Darke County Sheriff’s Office, told producers. Travis passed.
A day into the investigation, detectives got the first round of forensic evidence. It revealed that the murder weapon was a 12-gauge shotgun. A cast of the shoe print found near the basement window showed that it was a size 7 1/2.
And at this point, the investigation took an unexpected turn when a witness “dropped a bombshell on us,” said Whittaker.
Detectives focused on Gregg Myers after learning that he’d asked a neighbor in Piqua, Ohio where he could get a gun to shoot his father. The neighbor said that Gregg was in deep financial trouble.
When detectives brought Gregg in for questioning, a red flag went up instantly, they told “In Ice Cold Blood.” Before he was asked any questions, Gregg was so nervous he asked for a wastebasket in case he got sick.
Investigators told Gregg they knew his dire money issues. Gregg admitted that he was aware he was in line to inherit Jack and Linda’s valuable farm, but he denied killing them. He also said he didn’t go to work until about 5:30 a.m.
However, when questioned by authorities, Gregg’s girlfriend said he’d left early the day Jack and Linda were killed. Gregg didn’t answer the phone when she called him at 4:36 a.m.
Based on circumstantial evidence, Gregg was charged with two counts of aggravated murder on March 29 for the deaths of his father and stepmother.
The arrest sent shock waves through the Myers family as investigators stepped up efforts to build their case. They had to find the murder weapon and other physical evidence. There was also an immediate hurdle: Gregg/s shoe size wasn’t 7 ½.
However, he did drive a minivan. And a search of Gregg’s home turned up various items, including a gift card. Darke County Sheriff’s Office Detective Rodney Baker had been tasked with finding where Gregg had bought the shotgun or ammo. After an exhaustive search, he tracked down a store where Gregg used the gift card found in his home to buy shotgun ammo two days before the murders.
Following more exhaustive leg work, a 12-gauge shotgun was found in Stillwater River. Although the serial number had been filed away, experts were able to restore it and locate the seller. He identified Gregg Myers as the individual who’d bought it.
A plastic bag containing latex gloves, a green tracksuit, 12-gauge Sabot slugs, and size 7 ½ tennis shoes was later found in the river.
The track suit, investigators said, explained the “green dragon” Dameon described. The shoes, detectives said, were used by Gregg to deflect suspicion.
The crime lab also lifted Gregg’s fingerprint off of the latex gloves.
“To know that he did this all out of greed, that cuts like a knife,” said Darlene O’Neal, Linda’s daughter.
Gregg Myers’ trial began in April 2004. On April 27, after just a few hours of deliberation, the jury returned a guilty verdict. Two days later, he was sentenced to two life terms in prison without the chance of parole.
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