UPDATE: Family hopes for answers in murder of Chattanooga brothe - WSMV Channel 4

UPDATE: Family hopes for answers in murder of Chattanooga brothers

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - UPDATE: This January marks the 18th anniversary for the Goetcheus family. They count each year their sons murders remain unsolved.

Julenne Goetchus the victim's mother says, “I have learned to live with the pain, but badly want justice. I beg anyone who knows anything to please call investigators”

The DA's cold case unit says, there are new developments in the case and they are hoping the public continues to call in tips. 

Investigators say, a male caller left a message that was very helpful, giving them the break they were looking for. 

They hope the that person calls them again, even if he remains anonymous. 

If you have any information aboiut this case, the cold case number to call is 423-209-7470.


PREVIOUS STORY: A letter from Neal Pinkston District Attorney General Neal Pinkston was sent to Dwight Tarwater, the Tennessee Governor's Legal Counsel Tuesday requesting reward money for information leading to the "apprehension, arrest and conviction" of those responsible for the 1997 murders of Donny and Sean Goetcheus.

The letter reads:

Please accept this letter as a formal request of Governor Bill Haslam to make available reward money for information leading to the apprehension, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murders of Donnie and Sean Goetcheus.

This written request is made in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated § 40-8-101, et al. These murders would be classified as either first degree premeditated murder or first degree felony murder robbery. Under the Tennessee Code Annotated, these crimes are a class above Class A Felonies.

Brothers, Sean and Donny Goetcheus, were shot and killed execution style in their Brainerd home in January 1997.  Sean was 25 years of age and Donnie was 19. Due to the fact almost 18 years has lapsed since the incident date, the homicides are now considered cold case homicides. 


Over the last two years, a renewed investigative effort and creation of the District Attorney's Office Cold Case Unit has uncovered and developed new leads and facts surrounding the homicides.  Significant progress has been achieved towards identifying the person and/or persons responsible for these murders. 


I believe an offer of adequate reward money would encourage further witnesses to come forward with information that could help solve the murders. Anyone with information regarding these murders should contact the District Attorney's Office Cold Case Unit at (423) 209-7470 or at coldcases@hcdatn.org


PREVIOUS STORY: Investigators are following new leads in a high-profile Chattanooga double murder case. Brothers, Sean and Donny Goetcheus, were killed inside their home in 1997.

The 17-year-old murder case has been cold for years, but there's been a lot of new movement recently. It's giving hope to detectives -- and to a family that refuses to give up.

 "I have stayed awake so many nights thinking about what they went through. It's just beyond comprehension," said a tearful David Goetcheus.

He tries to keep his mind away from Rosemont Dr. It's where his only two sons were killed on January 9, 1997.

Brothers, 25-year-old Sean Goetcheus and 19-year-old Donny Goetcheus, were shot execution style -- with no answers ever since.

"The hardest part is no one's ever been held accountable for it," David said.

David and his wife Julenne describe it as 17-and-a-half years of agony.

They described Donny as a free-spirit who had just enrolled at Chattanooga State. His first day of class was instead the day of the funeral.

Sean was more serious. He was studying to be a gemologist, and worked for Rick Davis at his gold and diamond shop on Brainerd Rd.

After Sean didn't show up for work that day, Davis later found the bodies at the home.

The brothers' murders are two of 140 unsolved homicides in Hamilton County.

"Maybe some of them can't be solved," said Julenne. "But there's certainly a measure of them that could be if (police) had the resources."

"It was some time before the leads really started to vanish," said Chattanooga Police Sgt. Bill Phillips, who has been working the case since day one.

For years, the leads dried up. Calls stopped coming in. But all of that's changed over the past 18 months.

"I've traveled myself to three different prisons to do interviews because of the information we've gathered on this case," Phillips said.

Add that to dozens of interviews outside of jail. Some lead to dead ends. But others are opening doors.

"It has led us in other directions, which are still looking like we need to go that direction. So that's what we're doing right now," he said.

"It doesn't matter what we find out. What we want is justice," said Julenne.

But justice for Sean and Donny likely won't come without someone coming forward.

"Something that's seemingly very insignificant that someone knows could change the whole course of the case," she said.

"If it's solved, it'll be solved because someone comes forward," said David.

"We can't go to our grave without that. We can't. You can't accept that. You can't lose your children and not have the people who did it held accountable for it."

Anyone with information -- regardless of how important you think it is -- should call Crimestoppers at (423) 698-3333.
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