A press conference was held today at the Criminal Justice Center in Hardeman County. The U.S. Attorney of the Western District of the State of Tennessee Michael Dunavant, along with Special Agent in Charge of the FBI-Memphis Division M. A. Myers, 25th Judicial District Attorney General Mark Davidson, Special Agent in Charge TBI-West Tennessee John Simmons,, Sheriff John Doolen, along with others renew their commitment to solving the 21 year old murder of Michael Bell. There is still a $24,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the subject responsible. U.S. Attorney Dunavant announced new technology used by the FBI has allowed investigators to move closer to solving this case.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, FBI and the 25th District Attorney General Mike Dunavant announced the reward Thursday March 23, 2017 in the unsolved 1998 murder of Michael Bell, according to a TBI release.
Bell was a clerk at the McKee’s Stateline Convenience Store at the time of his murder on July 23, 1998. The store is located on Highway 125 S between Middleton, TN, and Walnut, MS.
An unknown individual shot and killed Bell, then left the store in a 1990s General Motors sedan and drove toward Walnut, MS.
The robbery does not appear to have been the motive of the shooting, according to the release. They say Bell instead was the target of a coordinated murder.
The FBI has joined in the investigation, and the partnership has resulted in new leads in the case, according to the release.
Investigators believe there are people in the community who have information that can help solve the crime.
The reward is for information that directly assists law enforcement in the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Bell’s death.
Anyone who has information is urged to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.
On Thursday March 31, Sheriff John Doolen was honored at the National Guard Armory in Bolivar for his patriotic support. Sheriff Doolen was nominated for the Patriot award by Cody Naylor and Justin Bryant, both of whom are deputies with the Hardeman County Sheriff’s Office and also serve in the National Guard. The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support Citizen Warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed.
“In God We Trust” was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956. “In God we trust” first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864 and has appeared on paper currency since 1957. In August 2015, Sheriff Doolen decided to add the motto to the Hardeman County Sheriff’s Office patrol cars. This logo came at no cost to the county thanks to Southern Designs of Bolivar who donated the decals. The motto is being placed on patrol cars all across the nation. “With everything going on in the world right now, God is the only thing we can trust,” Sheriff Doolen said. Doolen said the phrase does not specify which God it is referring to and does not infringe on anyone’s rights.
Booking reports may now be found via the “corrections” drop-down menu or by clicking here. A running monthly report, updated weekly, will be available for download or viewing within your browser. A link to a free PDF reader has been provided. This will serve to reduce the amount of clutter on the front page, reserving that for more important information.