Investigators hopeful in triple murder case

Published Nov. 26, 1995|Updated Oct. 5, 2005

Investigators say they have six potential suspects in the murder of three Cracker Barrel restaurant employees near Naples.

"Things are going in the right direction," said Collier County Sheriff Don Hunter. "I have optimism for next week."

Meanwhile, the Cracker Barrel reopened Friday for the first time since the Nov. 15 murders. There were fewer customers than normal.

"We're coping the best we can. We're pulling together as a family," said an employee who would identify herself only as Shirley.

Before the restaurant opened at 9 a.m., someone placed a small memorial near the stop sign in the parking lot. It was a bouquet of flowers with a sign that said, "God bless."

Listed were the names of the three who were bound, beaten and slashed to death the morning of Nov. 15: associate manager Dorothy Siddle, 38, of Golden Gate; cook Vicki Smith, 27, of Copeland; and maintenance worker Jason Wiggins, 21, of East Naples.

All three were found bound with their throats cut in a walk-in freezer before the restaurant had opened.

Investigators have said they believe there is one murderer, although he may have had a partner waiting in the car. All suspects are local men with connections to the restaurant and were identified through phone tips, they say.

A man with information that may help lead detectives to the killer won't be available for questioning until late tonight or Monday.

"Things are going in the right direction," the sheriff said.