Charlotte cold case detectives following leads in 1988 murder

Kenneth Ray Miller was the prime suspect in a 1988 murder.
Kenneth Ray Miller was the prime suspect in a 1988 murder.(CCSO)
Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 2:27 PM EDT
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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (WWSB) - Detectives in Charlotte County will be traveling to Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina in search of answers in an unsolved 1988 murder.

They’ll be trying to find material witnesses in the murder of Robert Hecht, a retired Army officer from Punta Gorda.

On Nov. 26, 1988, Hecht was seen at a bar with a man named Ray, who said he was from Tennessee and Kentucky. The next morning, after a weekly call from his sister went unanswered, police found Hecht’s body, obviously murdered, in his home.

On Nov. 28, Hecht’s Lincoln Town Car was seen parked in Lenoir, North Carolina. Witnesses told detectives that a white male of similar description to Ray was observed getting out of the car and entering a store.

A white female with long blonde hair was also observed in the passenger seat of the stolen car.

Leads went cold and the case was eventually assigned to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Unit in 2009.

In 2022, detectives identified Ray as Kenneth Ray Miller of Tennessee, who died in 2007.

They’re now actively looking to determine why and how Hecht’s car wound up in North Carolina. They also want to find the blonde woman seen with Miller, along with anyone else who may have information in the case.

“I have no doubt in my mind that this case will be be closed with this dedicated team of detectives leading the charge,” Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell said.