Crime Stoppers: Retired postal worker killed taking out garbage

10:09 PM, Apr 16, 2010   |    comments
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Amuel Murph was ready to start his day on July 12th, 2007.

He went about his normal routine of waking up early and getting organized for the day, never knowing that morning would be his last.

Murph packed up the garbage and walked it to the curb, just outside his well-manicured home in the 1400 Block of 28th Avenue South in St. Petersburg.

He would never make it back inside his home to kiss his wife goodbye.

Murph was gunned down in his own driveway, left to die on the concrete.

"I believe this was a robbery that went bad. I believe Mr. Murph was taking out the trash.  He had his lunch pail and car keys. No items taken, vehicle wasn't taken," said Detective Gary Gibson from the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Detective Gibson believes the gunman was possibly trying to break into a car when Murph walked up on him by surprise.

"This could be a younger or older person. With the amount of violence involved, there might have been some kind of drug usage," Detective Gibson told us.

Murph was known as a quiet, upstanding citizen and led a nice life as a Christian bookstore owner and retired postal worker.  Detectives are still trying to figure out what someone was doing outside of his home.

"There was a confrontation and there was a little bit of yelling. Several gunshots went off. Mr. Murph died of his injuries shortly thereafter," says Detective Gary Gibson.

Murph may have died protecting his wife.

"There is a possibility they wanted to enter the house and knowing that his wife was in there and did not want to partake in that struggle prior to shooting," Detective Gibson says.

Detectives say one of the reasons this case has been so difficult to solve is that there were no witnesses.  When Murph went to take out the garbage at 5:00 a.m., no one was outside.

Investigators have nothing to go on as far as who saw the crime. The only person who came face to face with the killers is the victim himself.

Detective Gibson tells us, "This is challenging. We did a neighborhood canvassing. Just not a lot of witnesses at 5 a.m."

The number one lead so far is a dark-colored SUV spotted by Murph's wife leaving the scene of the crime.

In recent months, St. Pete Police, along with Crime Stoppers of Pinellas, have placed billboards around the county displaying information on cases like this one to help solve this cold case and give the family peace after losing a loved one.

There is a reward of up to $1,000 in this case.  To read more about the case, visit the Crime Stoppers of Pinellas County website. 

Melanie Brooks, 10 Connects

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