Cases at a glance


Published: Sunday, May 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, April 30, 2005 at 7:55 p.m.
The case of Wende Ellinger is far from the area's only ongoing and unsolved investigation involving a death or a missing person.
"It's very frustrating," said Alachua County Sheriff's Detective Dale Buffenmyer. "Many times, the family wants closure, and we want closure ourselves. A lot of times, we know people out there have information and either they don't feel it's important to us, or they don't want to get involved and step up and do the right thing. And we wish they would."

The victims

The following cases remain unsolved:
  • University of Florida sophomore Tiffany L. Sessions, 20, was last seen on Feb. 9, 1989, after she left Casablanca East condominiums on SW 35th Place in Gainesville to take one of her regular evening walks.
  • Beverly Springer's body was found Dec. 27, 1997, along County Road 225 near the Gainesville Raceway. The 38-year-old had been stabbed and was dead 24 to 36 hours before three people who stopped to pick up a deer carcass discovered her body.
  • Jose Rodriguez, 89, walked away from his home at 319 NW 5th St. on May 29, 1998. His nude body was later found in the shallow waters of Newnan's Lake in the 6000 block of Lake Shore Drive. An investigation showed he died from blunt trauma injuries.
  • Santa Fe Community College student Shane Michael Crutchfield, 23, was found shot to death in front of his Hickory Hills apartment at 4022 SW 17th Lane just before midnight on May 13, 1999.
  • On Aug. 20, 2003, an Alachua County resident found the decomposed body of an infant in a pond at a former catfish farm near NW 102nd Place off State Road 121. The girl, whom investigators call "Baby Jane," has never been identified.
  • Lifelong area resident Wayne Hutchinson, 45, also known as "Frog," was found dead by a relative in the yard behind 6419 SE 215th St. in Hawthorne on Oct. 11, 2003. His family said at the time that his throat had been cut.
  • John Franklin Porter Jr., 46, was shot in the torso in the 100 block of SE 21st Street on the night of May 13, 2004. Witnesses saw him on his bike talking to another man, who was later seen running from the area after a gunshot was heard.

    If you have information

  • The Alachua County Sheriff's Office has been investigating the first six cases and can be reached at (352) 955-1818.
    Gainesville Police are searching for clues in the Porter case and can be contacted at (352) 334-2400. Anyone with information about any of these cases also can contact Crime Stoppers at (352) 372-7867.
    The Sheriff's Office keeps a "cold case" list with unsolved investigations dating back to 1969 at www.alachuasheriff.org.
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