Cold Cases: A Special Report

Many times a small tip can lead to closing a case for good. That's what Georgia authorities are hoping for in the murder case of Wendy Bryan.

On July 20, 2001 in Bainbridge, Georgia, 29-year-old Wendy Bryan works the register at the winery also known as Roy’s Package Store.

Around midnight two men wearing masks walked in the store demanding money.

MAJ Wendall Cofer with the Decatur County Sheriff's Office says, “We believe it to have been an armed robbery that simply went out of control.”

Linda McNease, the victim's friend, says, “She was on her fourth day on the job. She was filling in for somebody else and they came in right before closing time and the guy shot her in the back when she was going for the switch, the emergency switch.”

Bryan was shot in the chest. She died almost six hours later at a local hospital. More than four years later the search for her killer continues.

Cofer says, “We’ve interviewed literally dozens, maybe even hundreds of people in the neighborhood and Decatur County in general as well as north Florida and have not developed any positive leads on the suspect.”

The robbers left the store empty handed investigators would find the gun, but not much else. Wendy Bryan grew up in Bainbridge, working at the local factories. She hadn’t worked at the winery long.

Cofer adds, “Little less than a week. She had quit one job to go to that to get on days and evenings to spend more time with her children. She had two children.”

McNease says, “Wendy was a good person. She was a good mom, a good hard worker.
She was a dear friend. She’d do anything in the world for you. That’s why she was filling in for her friend that night. That’s just the way she was. She would help you if she could.”

Investigators continue to work the case on a weekly basis hoping for new leads, but as time passes those leads harder to come by.

If you have any information about the 2001 murder of Wendy Bryan, please call the Decatur County Sheriff's Office at (229) 248-3044.