Linda Stillson

WSVN — Thirty-seven years ago, a Realtor was brutally murdered while showing a condo, and as Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight’s Out for Justice, detectives have new evidence they hope will help them solve a case that’s been cold for decades.

Miami-Dade Detective Bobby Miller: “I’m Detective Miller of Miami Dade Police.”

Thirty-seven years after her murder, Detective Bobby Miller and fellow officers are still trying to solve the case.

Detective Bobby Miller: “We’re investigating a murder which occurred in 1977.”

In August 1977, 28-year-old Linda Stillson was a model and a mother with a great future.

Al Rohde: “So she was versatile in her talents, very talented, probably the smartest one in the family.”

Linda was also in real estate, and on that August day went to show a condo to a client. When she didn’t pick up her daughter that evening at a day care, her ex-husband got worried. Police were called, and Linda’s body was found.

Al Rohde: “Got a phone call from my dad at work, while I was working, saying that my sister had been murdered.”

Linda was found dead in this empty condo, also for sale, several doors down from the condo she was supposed to show that day.

Ron Rohde: “She was beaten, she was beaten to death and it was a gruesome murder, gruesome.”

Miami-Dade detectives searched, but nothing turned up. Thirty-seven years later, Detective Miller is back on the case.

Detective Bobby Miller: “There is nothing to suggest at this point that she was taken against her will. It seems suggested that maybe she possibly came upon a squatter.”

No motive, no killer, but in the file, Detective Miller found a fingerprint from inside the condo that couldn’t be matched 37 years ago. Today, it can.

Detective Bobby Miller: “Evidence recovered from the scene had led to the identity of Ernest Turnbough. We do not know who this individual is, other than we have a name. We do not know of the relationship, if there was any, between Linda and Mr. Turnbough.”

Detectives also found DNA in that condo in 1977 which they couldn’t check then. It’s now being tested. In, fact Miami-Dade Police have all the evidence from the original investigation. What they are missing are a couple of things, like someone who may have come across Linda the day she was murdered, or something about the man whose fingerprint was inside the condo, Ernest Turnbough.

Detective. Bobby Miller: “Take a close look at him and ponder, ‘Hey, do I recognize this guy?’ Or, ‘Yeah, you know what? He had a family member that lived down the way.'”

Thirty-seven years later, Linda’s family would like some answers.

Al Rohde: “I just hope that they solve the case sometime real soon, and I just wish my folks, (starts to cry) wish they’d be around for it.”

Linda’s parents are dead now. The desire to know who took her life, though, lives on.

Ron Rohde: “If anybody knows anything out there, just please, come, (cries) just come forward, please.”

Ron and his brother will never stop hoping the killer is found. Detectives have shown, after 37 years, they won’t stop looking for answers, either.

Detective Bobby Miller: “Sometimes you have to play with the cards that you are dealt with, and hopefully, I’ll get the right hand, and we can solve this case.”

If you remember anything, no matter how minor, about Linda Stillson that could help detectives, or if you knew Ernest Turnbough, give Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers a call at 305-471-TIPS.

And if you have lost a loved one and want to remind people you are still out for justice, give us a call. With this Out for Justice, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.

CONTACT OUT FOR JUSTICE:
Miami-Dade: 305-598-HELP (4357)
Broward: 954-796-HELP (4357)

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