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Police turn up heat on cabbie murder cold case

8:47 PM, Sep 17, 2012   |    comments
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CLEARWATER, Florida - Clearwater Police detectives and volunteers fan out in neighborhoods near U.S. 19 and Enterprise Road. They're knocking on doors, handing out flyers, and talking to people on the street. They're turning up the heat on a cold case.

Four years ago, in the early morning hours of September 17th, 2008, cab driver Jack Lagrand picked up a man at Fat Daddy's bar in Dunedin. It would be Lagrand's last fare. Six hours later, he was found shot to death in his Yellow Cab parked behind a Clearwater strip mall on U.S. 19 North.

It's been four years, but on the anniversary of the murder there's a renewed push by Clearwater Police to solve this case.

"Technology changes every year," said Detective Thomas Dawe at a news conference.

Police have always had a surveillance tape of the suspect captured by a camera at Fat Daddy's, but the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has now enhanced it. On the tape you see a man, in his 20's, wearing a distinctive white t-shirt. On the back of the shirt is a black skull, and on the front there are skeleton hands.

Dawe says this new souped-up version of the video also gives people a better look at the suspect's face. "We're hopeful somebody knows who he is and with this new video, somebody's going to see those facial features and say, 'You know, I know that guy. I went to school with that guy,'" he said.

On Monday, police released another new bit of information. The gun that killed Lagrand is an unusual Russian model called a  Makarov.

"I don't know how rare it is," said Dawe. "But it's definitely very specific."

Lagrand's family did not want to speak with the media today; police say relatives are still hurting. But now, along with that hurt, there is also new hope. Dawe said, "[They're] still very emotional about it, but even more emotional that we're still fighting as hard as we are now and that we haven't given up. It's still a priority for us."

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Clearwater Police Tip Line at 727-562-4422. Anonymous web tips can also be submitted through the police department's website.

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