Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater police ask for help in solving 2008 murder of taxi driver

CLEARWATER — Billboards didn't do it. Neither did an unusual effort to canvass the mall for a murder suspect's shirt. But Clearwater homicide detectives are hoping renewed publicity for the spare amount of evidence in the killing of taxi driver Jack LaGrand could bring closure to the 4-year-old case.

The Clearwater Police Department invited the media Monday to a briefing of police volunteers who then fanned out to distribute fliers about LaGrand, a 50-year-old Yellow Cab driver who was discovered shot dead in his taxi in a strip mall parking lot at 25716 U.S. 19 in Clearwater on Sept. 17, 2008.

The prime suspect in the case is a man LaGrand picked up at about 1:30 a.m. that morning from Fat Daddy's, a Dunedin bar. The man called a cab from the bar and was caught on surveillance video there.

The video has been enhanced digitally by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, leading to a crisper picture of the suspect, said Clearwater homicide detective Thomas Dawe.

"You can definitely see the facial features," he said, adding, "we're hopeful that somebody knows him."

Police also released the make of the gun they believe was used. It is a Russian-made Makarov 9mm handgun, they said.

LaGrand's murder is one of 34 open homicide cold cases at the Clearwater Police Department. Renewed effort has been directed at those cases since Police Chief Tony Holloway took the reins in 2010.

Since 2008, detectives have taken other steps to solve the case, such as tracking down the distinctive skull-and-roses T-shirt the suspect is seen wearing in the Fat Daddy's video and publicizing it in a billboard campaign.

Nothing has worked, but police hope with the passage of time that somebody familiar with the suspect — described as a possibly Latino man with a thin build and short dark hair, between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-9 — could feel more comfortable coming forward.

Clearwater police ask for help in solving 2008 murder of taxi driver 09/17/12 [Last modified: Monday, September 17, 2012 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies on Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre put Texas ahead 4-3 when he scored after two wild pitches.
  2. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  3. 13-year-old Janessa's father holds memorial service at Rogers Middle School

    Crime

    RIVERVIEW — About 100 people sat in the tile-floored multipurpose room Saturday at Rodgers Middle School where Janessa Shannon once sat as a student.

    A mourner embraces Nahshon Shannon after the memorial service for Nahshon’s daughter, Janessa, Saturday at Rodgers Middle School in Riverview.
  4. Trump: Aircraft carrier a symbol of America's might (w/video)

    Politics

    NORFOLK, Va. — With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed.

    President Donald Trump commissions the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.
  5. Kushner discloses additional $10M in assets

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner "inadvertently omitted" more than 70 assets worth at least $10.6 million from his personal financial disclosure reports, according to revised paperwork released Friday.

    Kushner