Detectives seek help solving cold case murder

Melvin Vasco Harrington, 75, found dead in home in May 2005

Melvin Harrington
Melvin Harrington

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. – Columbia County detectives have asked for the public's assistance in a cold case homicide investigation.

Melvin Vasco Harrington, 75, was found dead at his home on Highway 441 on May 26, 2005.

The investigation shows that on that date he began his morning early and went to see his wife, who was then staying in a medical facility, detectives said. Harrington was told that she would likely be able to return home soon, and he seemed happy that she would be coming home, detectives said.

Harrington bought a new lawnmower that day, took it back to his home and used it to mow some grass. He also spoke to his son that day, and they discussed frying some fish later that evening, deputies said.

According to detectives, Harrington was a farmer and enjoyed gardening, hunting, and fishing. That same day he took some beans from his garden to a friend. He returned to see his wife later that day and left her around 3 p.m.

At about 4:20 p.m. Harrington’s son found him dead inside his home. He was naked and had suffered a gunshot wound to the back of the head.

The investigation revealed he was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head, detectives said. There were no signs of forced entry, and it is likely that Harrington knew his killer, detectives said.

Several leads have been investigated in this case and
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office has followed several leads in the case and continues to investigate new leads.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division at 386-758-1095. Information can also be reported anonymously via Crime Stoppers at www.columbiacrimestoppers.net or 386-754-7099.