• Investigator to re-open 22-year-old murder case

    By: Rachel Stockman


    ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. - Investigators are hoping for new leads in the mystery disappearance of a Rockdale County mother.

    Deborah Jean McKneely disappeared from her home in 1991, sometime after her two young children left for school.

    Investigators found traces of her blood inside her home and in a carport. There was also evidence of forced entry to the home. Her children discovered her missing, and reported to authorities. Investigators recovered her SUV in Decatur, which also contained her blood.

    The cold case will be re-opened after the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office swore in a new cold case investigator. He will be looking into 11 cold cases, and focusing next on McKneely's disappearance.

    "(We want) to see if there is something that crime labs can now do with DNA that wasn't available 17 or 21 years ago," cold case investigator Ronnie Godwin explained.

    "It's been 22 years. I need to know where my sister is at. My family needs to know," said Stan Quarles, who is McKneely's brother.

    In a box, Quarles keeps many of the old news articles and police reports concerning his sister's disappearance.

    Quarles calls the Rockdale County every month to check on the case status. Quarles says he is pleased that there will now be a cold case investigator looking into her disappearance.

    "I know who did it -- I can't prove it," Quarles said.

    "This is my big unsolved case," Capt. Chris Traylor told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman.

    Traylor worked for three months non-stop on the case in 1991. He told Stockman, that he believes McKneely was murdered. However, investigators were never able to locate her body. Stockman asked Traylor who he thought murdered her.

    "Who do I think did it? I have a good idea. I am pretty sure it is a domestic-related incident," Traylor told Stockman.

    The day McKneely vanished, according to investigative records, she was going to sign papers to finalize a bitter divorce.

    And now 22 years later, investigator Ronnie Godwin said he will begin tracking down any new leads and re-examining the case to see if anything was missed.

    "The families deserve answers," Godwin said.

    "It never leaves your mind. You think about this all the time, it never goes away, it never will," Quarles said.

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    Investigator to re-open 22-year-old murder case