Sheriff’s Agents Make Arrest In 1988 Cold Case Homicide

By  //  May 2, 2013

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Husband Facing Murder Charges

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Brevard County Sheriff’s Office agents have wrapped up a cold case murder investigation and arrested a suspect for the crime.

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Benjamin Reapp of Mebourne, 87, has been arrested and charged with the 1988 murder of his wife Wanda. (Image courtesy of Brevard County Sheirff’s Office)

Major Tod Goodyear of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said the Brevard County Grand Jury has indicted Benjamin Reapp of Melbourne, 87, for the Aug. 26, 1988 death of his wife, Wanda Reapp, who was 52 at the time of her death.

Goodyear said Benjamin Reapp has been arrested on charges of First Degree Premeditated Murder for the death of his wife.

BODY DISPOSED OF IN CANAL

On the evening of Friday, Aug. 26, 1988, Reapp reported that he and his wife were the victims of a kidnapping. He told deputies at the time that the kidnapping occurred at the Mr. Donut on US Highway 1 in Cocoa.

Anyone with information about the investigation is urged to call the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit at 321-633-8413 or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

Anyone with information about the investigation is urged to call the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit at 321-633-8413 or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).

According to Reapp, the couple was allegedly forced to drive to a desolate area of Canaveral Groves where the kidnapper restrained Reapp and brutally murdered Wanda, disposing of her body in a canal.

Reapp told investigators at the time that after the murder, the alleged kidnapper drove away from the area, leaving him alive. He claimed he was then able to walk to a nearby residence and from where he contacted deputies.

PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, MULTIPLE INTERVIEWS

In  March 2010, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit Cold Case Agent Joseph Martin began reviewing the case. Goodyear said that for the past three years, Agent Martin along with other members of the Homicide and Crime Scene Units compiled physical evidence and conducted multiple interviews.

“It is a very good feeling when we can meet with the family and tell them that the individual responsible for their loss is being brought to justice,” said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. “The law enforcement personnel and our State Attorney’s Office involved in the investigation are absolutely determined to solve every case. Our citizens would be amazed to watch them work; they are a very dedicated group of people.”

Throughout the investigation, Goodyear said evidence continued to point to the involvement of the woman’s husband. The investigators then began coordinating efforts and reviewing evidentiary findings with prosecutors from the State Attorney’s Office, Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, in Brevard County.

Goodyear said this cooperative effort led to the indictment of Benjamin Reapp, who is currently incarcerated at the Central Florida Reception Center of the Florida Department of Corrections, on unrelated charges.

Reapp is currently completing a three-year sentence on a lewd and lascivious conviction on a child under the age of 12.

Goodyear said this investigation is the seventh cold case homicide successfully solved by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit in the past four years.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey

Sheriff Wayne Ivey

It is a very good feeling when we can meet with the family and tell them that the individual responsible for their loss is being brought to justice,” said Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey. “The law enforcement personnel and our State Attorney’s Office involved in the investigation are absolutely determined to solve every case. Our citizens would be amazed to watch them work; they are a very dedicated group of people.”

Anyone with information about the investigation is urged to call the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit at 321-633-8413 or CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).  All calls to CRIMELINE are confidential, and callers can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward for information leading to an arrest.


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