"White truck" from unsolved 2017 murder back in the news
Oct. 20 marked five full years since Veronique "Roni" Wright-Reaves was murdered while driving home on Ga. 212 in northwest Baldwin County.
Wright-Reaves was a teacher, a hairdresser, a devoted wife and a mother of two.
Analdo Reaves, her husband, is making sure that Wright-Reaves' unsolved murder does not go forgotten.
Last Tuesday, Reaves took the microphone at an NAACP community forum and directly addressed Sheriff Bill Massee. WMAZ referred to the discussion as "a fiery exchange," with Reaves accusing the Sheriff's Office of withholding information, while Massee told the crowd that "when we wanted to interview the husband, he lawyered up and would not talk to us."
In an interview with Channel 13 the following day, Massee clarified that Reaves isn't necessarily a suspect, adding that he simply wants Reaves to give an interview to detectives at the Sheriff's Office.
"(Reaves) may have some information that he doesn't even know would benefit us. We are not sitting here accusing Mr. Reaves of anything, other than that he has not been transparent with us during the duration of this investigation," the sheriff said.
That WMAZ piece can be watched immediately below...
At this point, it's clear that Reaves and Massee won't be having Thanksgiving dinner together or watching a ballgame together any time soon. In a Facebook Live video following the NAACP forum, Reaves sounded off on Massee, saying multiple times that "it's time to get a new sheriff."
"Bill Massee – I'll say his name – I ain't scared of him. Y'all probably scared of him," said Reaves in the Facebook Live video, which has already been viewed more than 1,500 times.
Following the NAACP forum, the Sheriff's Office agreed to give Reaves a copy of the incident report from the night of his wife's murder. Although the Sheriff's Office has still not provided Reaves with a recording of Wright-Reaves' 911 call, the BCSO has offered a transcript of the 911 call to Wright-Reaves' family and has been more transparent with the family.
Reaves read highlights of the incident report in his latest Facebook Live video, including the part about Wright-Reaves relaying to a deputy at the scene that "it was possibly a truck, and possibly white." In the hours following the murder, Reaves drove to the Sheriff's Office and told detectives that one of his wife's former students at Central Georgia Technical College drove a white truck and had become confrontational with Wright-Reaves during his time in her class in 2016, roughly a year before the murder. When detectives heard this, their ears basically perked up, knowing that Wright-Reaves made reference to a white truck in the 911 call and also while she spoke with a deputy at the scene.
With the information from Reaves about a student with a white truck, the Sheriff's Office zeroed in on the former student.
"We spent two full days working 16 and 18 hours a day with me and five of my investigators, and four GBI agents, because (Reaves) told us he knew who killed her," Massee told the audience at last week's NAACP forum.
In the end, however, detectives concluded that the former student's "white truck" was inoperable and hadn't been driven by the student for a prolonged period of time. Also during the "vetting" process, the former student was interviewed, as were members of his family. Also, a search warrant was executed on the man’s cell phone. Eventually, detectives concluded that the man had a solid alibi, while also concluding that his cell phone history from that night matched up with his story.
The search for "the white truck" didn't end there, however. After reviewing security video from both the old Marathon store and Central Georgia Tech, detectives noticed a white truck heading towards Ga. 212 in the general timeframe of Wright-Reaves' 911 call. After plenty of legwork, detectives were able to track down the driver of the white truck from the security videos. During that interview, the man told detectives that he was returning home from the Marathon convenience store on Roberson Mill Road when he spotted Wright-Reaves’ vehicle parked along the middle of the highway, the driver’s side door ajar. At that time, according to detectives, Wright-Reaves was not in the vehicle, as she had previously managed to exit the car and transport herself to a grassy area on the side of the highway. The man initially thought someone had struck a deer, according to detectives. After seeing the door open and no one inside, however, the man panicked and drove off, thinking that he was being “set up,” added detectives.
Two different security videos were recovered of “the man in the white truck.” The first video was from the Marathon store, while the second video was from CGCT. Detectives matched up the time of Wright-Reaves' 911 call with the time that the "white truck" was recorded leaving the Marathon store and past CGCT. Detectives later performed several re-enactments, driving at different speeds between the Roberson Mill Road/Garrett Way intersection and the Ga. 212/Lowe Road intersection, ultimately concluding that his story matched up with the timeframe of Wright-Reaves’ 911 call.
Then, several months later, a third person of interest emerged, and it involved another student previously in one of Wright-Reaves' classes. Wright-Reaves actually wrote the student up at one point, and he was disciplined. The write-up centered around an incident in class, as well as a piece of paper that Wright-Reaves had confiscated from the student. Detectives reviewed Wright-Reaves’ CGCT personnel file and e-mail account. Detectives also interviewed administrators and co-workers from CGCT in regards to the in-class incident, while also issuing a questionairre to students who were in the same class. In the end, none of the students or faculty remembered “anything really memorable or unusual” about the incident, according to detectives.
The piece of paper confiscated during class was a doodle, for a lack of a better word, with a marijuana leaf drawn on one side and the phrase “If you can read this then (expletive) you" on the other, added detectives. Reaves later referred to the piece of paper as "a threatening letter" in subsequent Facebook videos and posts.
The former student was interviewed, and a search warrant was executed on his cell phone. During an interview, former student No. 2 told detectives that he'd been home all night, a story that was corroborated by a family member who was also home, according to detectives. A search warrant also was executed on the man's cell phone, and detectives concluded that his cell phone records matched up with his story. Also, detectives say that they reviewed a security camera from a private residence closer the top of the road where the man lives, and the camera showed no vehicles coming or going that night.
Apparently, however, Reaves wasn't completely buying it, posting a picture of the home and address of one of the students, as well as pics from one of the student's Facebook page. In past Facebook posts and videos, Reaves has also accused the Sheriff's Office of a racial cover-up, while also being critical of the local NAACP and making the claim that "Bill Massee is a big donator" to the NAACP and "(the NAACP) won't say nothing about Bill Massee."
Following the vetting of the students and white trucks, detectives began focusing on cell phone "geo-fencing," cross-referencing cell phones that "pinged" to cell phone towers along Ga. 212 with vehicles that possibly could've been in the area that evening.
For the most part, however, the case has gone very cold in the last few years.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 445-4891 or the anonymous tip line at 445-5102.