Mt. Vernon Register-News

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November 5, 2010

Police seek help in cold murder case

MT. VERNON — A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for a 10-year-old murder which happened in Woodlawn.

According to Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Detective Capt. John Kemp, the body of Roger Hart was discovered outside his home in Woodlawn by family members in the morning hours of Nov. 11, 1998. He had been shot to death.

“We do have suspects in mind, but we need the public’s help at this point,” Kemp said. “You work a (cold case) like this as the leads come in, but the leads on this have dried up.”

Detectives are hoping a $1,000 reward offered by the Jefferson County Crimestoppers will help.

“We’re looking for information or rumors out there that would get this case going again,” Kemp said. “We’re interested in knowing.”

Hart’s murder isn’t the only cold case Jefferson County detectives are still working on. Henry Barnett of Belle Rive was found dead in the well outside his home in the late 1990s; Lamont Cantley was found in Rend Lake; the Dardeen family was discovered murdered in their home in Ina; and three unidentified bodies.

The Dardeen family is believed to have been killed by serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells.

The unidentified bodies include a man whose body was discovered dumped along Interstate 64 near Woodlawn; a head, known as Jane Doe and found by people walking in Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park; and a bag of bones discovered in the Waltonville area. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has sought the help of the Smithsonian Institute to identify Jane Doe, but no information about her has been developed.

Anyone who has information or knowledge that would help solve the Hart murder is asked to contact the detective division of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 244-8004 or Jefferson County Crimestoppers at 242-8477. All calls to Crimestoppers are confidential and no one will know your name.

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