A case Barren County Sheriff's investigators have been working for over a year is now being called homicide. Last March, William Edward Stubblefield went missing, and last Friday, his body was discovered. An autopsy was performed, and it is determined that he died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head and chest from a .22 gun. A strange and eerie coincidence in the case is that Stubblefield would have turned 57 years old on the day his autopsy was performed.
Barren County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Eaton says, "We did a missing persons report in late March of 2003. So it's been over a year he's been missing."
Stubblefield's body was discovered last week by the new owner of the property. The man was plowing when he saw a boot fly in the air. When he backed up the bulldozer, he saw a more grisly sight - the matching boot with a leg bone still in it. He then called 911.
Eaton says, "Stubblefield was a dairy farmer. His cattle developed mastitis and he was advised to sell them for beef. Barren County sheriff's investigators say the possible motive for this shooting was to steal the cows."
Stubblefield is divorced, and his family lives in Tennessee. Not many people in Barren County knew him well.
Eaton says, "He was the kind of person when he came into a room he didn't really stand out; he wasn't very talkative. But if he walked into a room, you knew he was there, and he would talk if you initiated conversation.
Investigators say whoever is responsible for the shooting will be found.
Eaton says, "When it goes on for a while your emotions sink in. We got emotionally involved in it, and now that it is a homicide, it's stepped it up. Our stress is up a little more now. We're gonna do everything in our power to find and bring whoever did this dreadful thing to Mr. Stubblefield and to justice."
There is a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest of the person or persons responsible for Stubblefield's murder. Contact Barren County Sheriff's Department at (270)651-2771.