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Friends, Authorities Want Closure In Unsolved Garner Murder

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GARNER, N.C. — On June 17, 2000, a customer called 911 from Ray's Grocery after he had discovered the body of Colleen Blackburn. The store clerk was shot to death during a robbery. Now, her friends and authorities are still looking for answers.

Blackburn was not scheduled to work that night, but she agreed to cover for a sick co-worker -- a gesture that did not surprise friends like Ron Still.

"She took care of her mama when her mama got sick. I respected her for that. She took care of her dog. I liked that," he said.

Blackburn's murder made news for a few days, but then faded from memory. Three years later, her friends are frustrated that the case has never been solved. Wake County deputies had few clues to follow. Blackburn did not put a tape in the store's security camera before her shift. A description of a car and the driver led to a dead end and the trail quickly ran cold.

"We can only hope that at some point, the person who did the shooting will say something and it will come back to us," said Maj. T.S. Matthews, of the Wake County Sheriff's Office.

Friends like Steve Duty share Matthews' hope. Blackburn worked at his store for 13 years. He still thinks about her every day and hopes her killer will eventually be caught.

"I would just love to see whoever is responsible is brought to justice. It bothers me to think whoever did it is just out there," he said.

If you have any information about Colleen Blackburn's murder, you are asked to contact the

Wake County Sheriff's Office


(919) 856-6900