Mystery Artist Comes Forward

It took just one day for Captain Larry Ward to solve the case and for the man in question to come forward.

 

Bill Walton admits he did it. But he is not a criminal. He’s a creator, of five etchings honoring the five Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Deputies who have died in the line of duty.

 

Walton dropped them off anonymously at the North District Office in Crestview last Christmas.

Monday, Ward decided to find out who did them. He did an interview with the CW-55 News at Nine and posted the etchings on social media.

 

“I tried to keep low key,” Walton said. “I wasn’t looking for recognition but I did see it and I knew it would blow up, so here we are.”

 

“(Walton) is a very private person,” added Ward, “but we are so happy that he allowed us to use him and identify him and allow him to be part of the family.”

 

Walton says he was inspired to do the etchings after Deputy Bill Myers was shot to death last fall in Shalimar. He researched the other officers killed in the line of duty and produced the portraits using a computerized etching machine. He then stained, sanded, and  clear coated each one. Each work of art took about three days to complete.

 

The portraits now line a hallway in the office as a constant reminder to Okaloosa County deputies.

 

“We honor them and their sacrifice to us to make us better at what we do to and protect our community and citizenry,” said Ward. “We honor them and we thank them.”

 

And they thank Bill Walton too.

 

“I try to do odd things, little random things for people, to cheer them up,” explained Walton.  “Just good deeds.”

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