JONESVILLE — There were indications Wednesday night that a breakthrough has been made in the unsolved murder of former Mount Airy police officer Greg Martin.
Friday marks the 16th anniversary of Martin’s fatal shooting along Interstate 77 while he was serving as a sergeant with the Jonesville Police Department.
But the cold case that has eluded federal, state and local authorities since Oct. 5, 1996, could now be resolved, although Jonesville Police Chief Roger Reece declined to confirm that an arrest had been made when contacted Wednesday night.
Reece said a news release would be forthcoming later that night, repeatedly refusing to disclose any details until then.
However, the prospect of a breakthrough was hailed as good news by Mount Airy Police Chief Dale Watson.
“We’re very happy with the turn that this case has made,” Watson said.
“The loss of the officer has saddened our community and department,” the Mount Airy police chief added Wednesday night.
Martin, 30, was a member of the city police force from Aug. 5, 1991, to July 19, 1992, before joining the Jonesville Police Department.
He was shot multiple times on the side of Interstate 77 in Yadkin County, just south of Jonesville, during a traffic stop. Martin’s duty weapon was found in his holster, indicating he did not have an opportunity to defend himself. He left a wife and young children behind.
After the shooting, the suspect(s) dumped a truck stolen from a dealership in Princeton, W.Va., and took a van from a business in Elkin, according to the FBI.
The van later was found abandoned in a Home Depot parking lot in Gastonia. FBI agents at the Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, Va., determined the suspect(s) had ties to one of those areas.
Reece, the Jonesville police chief, had told The Mount Airy News in May 2011 that “I’m confident there’s someone who knows something about who killed Greg, other than the shooter.”
At least $130,000 in reward money, including $100,000 from the FBI, had been offered for information leading to an arrest, according to previous reports.
Reach Tom Joyce at email@example.com or 719-1924.