Columbia County deputies seek help solving cold case murder

After 2008 murder of Linda Raulerson, police are still looking for answers

By Harrison Barrus - Web news editor

LAKE CITY, Fla. - Nearly four years after a murder that shocked Columbia County, the death of Linda Raulerson during a convenience store robbery remains unsolved and deputies are looking for help to find and put the killer behind bars.

"This murder is especially heinous as Mrs. Raulerson did nothing but comply with the suspect and she was shot in a cold-blooded manner," said Columbia County Sheriff Bill Gootee.

Gootee said surveillance video showed that the robber shot Raulerson in July 2008 after she emptied the cash drawer, handed over the money and stepped out of the way.

Gootee said the robber was a black man between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet 2 inches wearing a dark, hooded sweatshirt, long jean shorts and white sneakers.

Raulerson died at the scene.

"She loved the job, the people," said Raulerson's husband of 38 years, John. "Everyone who came in the store was like her family."

The suspect was last seen driving a mid-'90s Buick LeSabre and officials are asking the community for any information that may lead to an arrest.

We want him off the street. We don't want this person to hurt another family like he's hurt us," Raulerson's adult son, Rusty, told News4Jax in 2011.

Photos will be posted on Columbia County Sheriff's Office website, columbiasheriff.org and CCSO social media sites and a $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Columbia County Sheriff's Office's tip line at 386-984-2871 or the Columbia County Crime Stoppers at 386-754-7099.


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