Murder Mystery: Cold Case Homicide Victim Identified, Search For Suspect Continues

October 16, 2020

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has identified a man that was murdered 35-years ago.

On January 23, 1985, the body of an adult male was found in the area of west Klondike Road and Wild Lake Boulevard. He had been murdered.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office released details about the victim’s location and other identifying factors to the public. Years passed, but there were no tips in the case.

In 2018, a person searching for a missing family member stumbled on the cold case information on the ECSO website and contacted investigators.

The thing that stuck out to the person the most was the victims belt buckle with the hand-engraved initials “W.T.”. The person felt this could have been their missing uncle, whose last known location was in Escambia County near the same time the unidentified body was discovered.

ECSO investigators contacted the Medical Examiner’s office and obtained samples of the family member’s DNA with DNA from the unknown victim. They sent the samples to the University of North Texas to be analyzed. The results of the test revealed the victim was actually William Ernest Thompson, who was age 50 when his body was found.

The last time Thompson made contact with his family was on September 23, 1983, when he called his mother from an unknown location on Pensacola Beach. A missing person’s report was never filed with the ECSO.

The case is being actively worked as a homicide.

“This is another example of the never-ending quest for justice,” Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Chip Simmons said. “While we haven’t yet solved the homicide. It is a step forward and can give the family some closure until the case is solved.”

Anyone with information about the homicide is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (850) 433-STOP or the ECSO at (850) 436-9620.

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