Tonight on News 5, we are investigating a cold case murder from over a decade ago that law enforcement refuses to give up on. It was a case that had the entire Atmore community worried for their safety. Melinda McGhee, a young nurse and mother of two, was murdered inside her home, after working an overnight shift at a nursing home back in March of 2003. McGhee’s body was never found, despite hundreds of people and several law enforcement agencies searching for her. No one has ever been arrested, even though the killer left behind a bloody crime scene inside McGhee’s home. McGhee’s sister says the “coward” treated her body like it was “trash.” Melissa Wall Boatwright has so much anger that no one has been forced to pay for the crime. “I wish the cowards who know about this who have chosen for 14 years to live their lives and not tell the facts would actually tell authorities what could help these boys find their mother.”
Escambia County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy, Mike Lambert, says they refuse to let the McGhee case become cold, even though it happened fourteen years ago. “This case has been called a cold case, but in our minds, it is not, simply because we have not allowed it to be a cold case. This is still an active investigation.” The Sheriff’s Department brought in Special Investigator, Tommy Calhoun, to be devoted to this case. He insists that even today, there are suspects. “There are suspects. Today they call them persons of interest, but we definitely have people we have not been able to eliminate being involved.” Calhoun and Lambert say they have interviewed over 100 people through the years, and have even gone as far as to drain a swamp looking for her body.
Meanwhile, McGhee’s family has spent the last 14 years suffering the loss of Melinda. Boatwright says, “Our family has never been the same since that day.” She prays someone will come forward with information so that someone will go to prison. “We are suffering. Her children, her husband, and her parents still suffer ever day wondering where she is, and they (the killer) are living their life. It is hard.”
There is still a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.