A Jefferson county man is beaten to death outside his business... and five years later, authorities have no idea who committed the murder. The 2007 murder of 60-year old Gary Brantley has left the small town of Humphrey on edge for years. Jefferson County authorities are now taking another look at this case.. in hopes that someone will come forward with some new information.
Humphrey, Arkansas is one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone.
That's why it's so difficult to understand how a cold-blooded murder could take place here... and no one knows who did it.
Major Lafayette Woods says, "it's a great concern of ours to make sure the community feels safe and they are safe. and we do that by making sure we follow up on all the leads.... and bringing individuals to justice who committed crimes like this."
It was May 4th, 2007. Deputies responded to Brantley's Garage, a mechanic shop at 104 North Mulberry, after getting a report of a dead body.
Major Woods says, "they did locate a white male whose body was partially concealed. underneath a camper shell behind the actual business here. garage business."
60 year old Gary Brantley's badly decomposing body was discovered by two of his own grand kids.
Authorities say he had been beaten to death.
"we believe it was a hatchet or some type of hammer," adds Woods.
Investigators have interviewed several people... but the leads have gone dry.
Meantime, residents in this small town... are still in shock.
"you never know what people's capable of doing. I wouldn't think someone would do that over working on a vehicle," says Michael Hodges.
The line of work Brantley was in... is what makes this case so difficult to solve.
He was in contact with so many people on a weekly basis, but some here have their own theories about what happened.
Hodges says, "he had I think recently got his disability started. I mean just like.. a few days before this happened, received his first payment. I think maybe the wrong person seen it. came over here and caught him by himself.. and maybe that's why."
Jefferson County investigators are not giving up on this case. They are committed to solving this murder... to bring closure to the Brantley family... and finally to put an entire town at ease.