Williamson County investigators seeking answers in 1988 homicide


S.E. Ritchey, 73, died after he was attacked while unloading groceries in eastern Williamson County.

The victim’s wife, Ethel Ritchey, was able to summon help but was unconscious when first responders arrived.

The Williamson County sheriff’s office is continuing its effort to solve a 1988 murder case in which a 77-year-old man died after he was struck in the head while unloading groceries in his driveway with his wife in eastern Williamson County.

S.E. Ritchey was hit with a blunt object on March 5, 1988, and received surgery for a fractured skull but died 17 days later, according to the sheriff’s office. His wife, Ethel Ritchey, also was assaulted but was able to summon help after the attack. She was unconscious when first responders arrived at the scene, the sheriff’s office said.

During the attack, S.E. Ritchey’s wallet was taken and several hundred dollars were taken from his wife’s purse, investigators said.

The assault and robbery happened after the Ritcheys had closed a laundromat they operated in Taylor and had arrived at their rural home on County Road 479 near the community of Shiloh, investigators have said.

RELATED: Sheriff Robert Chody asks public to help solve 1988 cold case

The sheriff’s office cold case unit is looking for new leads that might lead to solving this case.

“It doesn’t matter how old a case is when it’s unsolved,” Sheriff Robert Chody said in a news release Friday. “Victims, family members and the community seek and deserve justice.”

Anyone with information about the case can contact detective John Pokorny at 512-943-3739, or by email at coldcasetips@wilco.org.

FOR MORE NEWS: Be sure to follow the Williamson County News Now page on Facebook

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