DA reopens 35-year-old cold case


A Midstate district attorney is asking the FBI to get involved in a cold case.

Thirty-five years ago, two teenage girls from Dover, TN, were murdered in Land Between the Lakes.

There were decent witnesses, an artist sketch and several good suspects, but an arrest was never made.

On Sept. 17, 1980, Carla Atkins and Vicki Stout walked a mile to a market to buy cigarettes. They started back, but never made it.

Somebody took them to Land Between the Lakes and shot them in the back of the head.

“I don’t know how it got off track,” District Attorney Ray Crouch said. “There was never enough evidence to charge anyone. There were suspects and leading suspects, but never enough to get formal charges.”

But 35 years later, things have changed.

Crouch has aggressively reopened the investigation with new interviews and new files. He has also asked the FBI to jump into the case because it happened on federal land.

The victims’ families are praying for answers.

“We have waited this long, and we have worked with all the sheriffs, TBI, and it just hasn’t progressed as it has in the past couple years,” said Patricia Gordon, the victim’s sister.

The case is more active than it has been in 30 years, but the evidence was stored in plastic bags and is ruined. That is why the family has approved an exhumation.

Crouch said he hopes the FBI thinks it’s a good idea.

“I’m not sure what their capabilities are, but if they have better science or more resources, we would love to use them,” he said.

Crouch has written a letter to the FBI requesting assistance, but has not heard back.

Crouch asked anyone who remembers anything from that day to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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