|"Person of interest" identified in Triple Homicide|
|Saturday, 26 January 2008 18:11|
Grayson County Sheriff’s deputies have named a Crumpler man a “person of interest” in the investigation of a January 24th triple homicide.
That man, 48-year-old Frederick Phillip Hammer, was apprehended by the U.S. Marshal Service Fugitive Task Force in Puntagorda, Florida. Hammer had been interviewed in Grayson County and released within hours of the incident. The investigation soon yielded renewed interest in Hammer, police say.
Officers this weekend served Hammer a fugitive warrant for a probation violation in North Carolina, and are working on bringing Hammer back to Ashe County. A statement from Grayson County Sheriff’s Office says deputies are “pursuing this and other leads” in connection with Thursday’s triple homicide. Murder charges have not been filed at this time, and deputies are careful to point out that “person of interest” does not necessarily mean “suspect.”
Ashe County’s 74-year-old Ron Hudler, his 45-year-old son Frederick, and 25-year-old John Steven Miller were found dead from gunshot wounds early Thursday at Hudler’s farm off Route 16, about 200 feet from the state line. Police suspect the shooters were attempting to steal a gun safe from Hudler’s residence. Family members said it was not uncommon for Hudler to keep a lot of money in the safe.
Virginia State Police and the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office are assisting Grayson authorities with the investigation.
Virginia State Police set up a command post Friday and is still asking the public to come forward with tips by calling 540-580-7775. Additionally, the Hudler family is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to arrests and convictions of those responsible.
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