Columbia County deputies investigate link between two murders

Published: Friday, August 1, 2008 at 12:25 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 1, 2008 at 12:25 p.m.

Columbia County deputies are investigating whether a man, listed as a suspect in this week’s fatal shooting of a Georgia convenience store clerk, may also be linked to the shooting death of a Lake City woman last week.

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Daymon Heard, 20, was being held at the Duval County jail Friday morning and is considered a suspect in the death of a clerk in Lake Park, Ga., according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

The law enforcement agency reported there are similarities between the Georgia and Columbia County cases but nothing “definitive” linking the two at this time.

Linda Susan Raulerson, 56, died after she was shot on July 22 while working at the Joy America Food Store in Columbia County. A man entered the store, pulled out a gun and immediately demanded money, surveillance video showed. Raulerson complied with the man’s demands, handing him cash over the counter but was fatally shot as the suspect left the store.

“At this point we cannot rule anything out,” said Sheriff Bill Gootee in a statement Friday morning. “It is equally important for us to prove or disprove Mr. Heard’s involvement in the murder of Mrs. Raulerson and that will take time.”

Heard is being held in Jacksonville on charges of use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia and possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana, according to the jail’s Web site. He was booked into the jail Thursday night.

A man walked into Triangle Foods on Highway 41 in Lowndes County in Georgia Wednesday afternoon and fired at least four shots at the male clerk, the Associated Press reported. The employee later died at South Georgia Medical Center after a customer found him about 15 minutes after the shooting. The robber took money from the register, then came back a few second later, went around the counter and stepped over the clerk to take cigarettes.

A video surveillance camera captured the shooting. Authorities reported the suspect was not wearing a mask, according to the Associated Press.

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