BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Sullivan County investigators say they have solved a nearly 40-year-old murder case.
The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the death of Floyd “Otis” Turner since 1984, when on July 10, a deputy found Turner slumped over and deceased inside a vehicle parked on the shoulder of State Route 126 under the Interstate 81 bridge. The vehicle’s window was rolled down and the driver’s door was open.
Detectives conducted numerous interviews and worked with multiple agencies, but were unable to identify a suspect. The case remained unsolved for the next 39 years.
On Thursday, the sheriff’s office announced that a suspect, who is now deceased, had been identified.
“Recently, a detective with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office spoke to a reliable informant, who, upon finding out that the suspect, Johnny Barb, was deceased, revealed that Barb had disclosed specific details regarding the case and that he had killed a man,” the sheriff’s office said in a release.
The detective testified before a Sullivan County grand jury and presented jurors with a timeline of the case from July 10, 1984, to now.
The grand jury found the evidence determined that Barb committed the murder and would be indicted if still alive.
“I am extremely pleased with the investigators throughout the years that have relentlessly pursued justice in this cold case,” Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said. “Mr. Floyd’s family is finally able to get some type of closure in this case.” We are actively looking into other cold cases in Sullivan County and will continue to do so to ensure families and the victims of crime are not forgotten.”
Cassidy said investigators will continue to look into other cold cases with the hope of bringing closure to victims’ families.