Hammer believed to be used in murder of McCracken Co. couple

Victims identified in suspicious McCracken Co. death investigation
Gerald Boyes, Sr. and Billie Potter (Source: McCracken County Sheriff's Department)
Gerald Boyes, Sr. and Billie Potter (Source: McCracken County Sheriff's Department)
(Source: McCracken County Sheriff's Department)
(Source: McCracken County Sheriff's Department)
(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - The McCracken County Sheriff's Department released the cause of death of a man and woman found in their home on Tuesday, April 12.

According to Sgt. Darrin Frommeyer, during the crime scene investigation detectives found a hammer inside the home. They believe the hammer was used to kill Gerald Boyes, Sr. and Billie Potter.

Sgt. Frommeyer said Boyes, Sr. and Potter appeared to have been hit multiple times.

The hammer was sent to the Kentucky State Police crime lab to confirm it was the weapon used.

The suspect in that double homicide was identified as Gerald R. Boyes, Jr., the son of the two victims.

Boyes, Jr., 53, of Jacksonville, Florida, was killed on Saturday, April 16 in Antioch, Illinois after brandishing a firearm at authorities with the Lake County Major Crime Task Force as they were trying to arrest him.

Two officers from the McHenry County Sheriff's Department and two officers from Lake County were reportedly involved in the shooting.

According to the McHenry County Sheriff's Department, both of their officers were placed on paid leave, which is normal practice after any officer-involved shooting.

They said one of the officers with their department had nine years of service and the other had 23 years.

Authorities in McCracken County said Boyes, Jr., was a suspect in the double homicide early on, and so reached out to the Jacksonville County Florida Sheriff’s Office. Surveillance operations and information gathering were immediately set into place.

It was determined that Boyes, Jr. allegedly rented a white 2015 Ford Flex from a car rental agency in Florida on March 9.

According to court documents, the vehicle was supposed to have been returned on March 11, but when it wasn't, investigators in Florida marked the vehicle as being stolen.

It was also determined that Boyes, Jr. was wanted on a parole violation out of Florida. He had felony convictions for numerous armed robberies, burglaries, assaults with a deadly weapon, identity theft, fleeing or evading police, along with many others.

According to the McCracken County Sheriff's Department, the two victims of the double homicide, Gerald Boyes, Sr., 73, and Billie Potter, 67, both of Reigel Lane, were found dead on Tuesday, April 12.

At around 6:50 p.m. on Tuesday, a neighbor reported going to the home of the victims to check on them after not seeing any activity at their home in a day or so, according to authorities.

Deputies said the neighbor, in the Reigel Lane area off of Hansen Road, found a woman unresponsive and called 911.

Once firefighters and EMS arrived, deputies said they found a man as well.

The McCracken County Coroner Dan Sims has concluded that the cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma to both victims.

According to the sheriff's department, it is believed the couple had recently moved to the area from out of state about a year ago.

On Thursday, April 14, Det. Capt. Matt Carter and Det. Sgt. Darrin Frommeyer with the McCracken County Sheriff's Department, while en route to Jacksonville, Florida, learned that Boyes, Jr. allegedly pawned an item at a pawn shop earlier that day in Villa Ridge, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

The detectives immediately turned around and headed to the Chicago area, arriving there Friday morning.

On Friday, April 15, sheriff's detectives in McCracken County began combing through surveillance video that had been recovered from homes and businesses in the area where the two murders had occurred.

A 2015 Ford Flex that appeared to be the same vehicle Boyes, Jr. allegedly stole in Florida was seen in some of the footage on the same day and time as the murders are suspected to have occurred.

Detectives Carter and Frommeyer arrived at the pawn shop in northern Illinois on Friday to recover the item that Boyes, Jr. allegedly pawned, which was a wallet that is believed to have belonged to his father, one of the victims in the McCracken County murders.

Investigators noted that the victim's wallet was missing when his body was recovered.

Detectives Carter and Frommeyer met with multiple law enforcement agencies in the Chicago area.

A special law enforcement intel bulletin was sent out to the entire northern Illinois law enforcement community on Friday afternoon, alerting them to the stolen vehicle that Boyes, Jr. was possibly driving, as well as identifying him as a person of interest in the double homicide in McCracken County, Ky.

Teams of investigators conducted surveillance operations in the Chicago area and found the alleged stolen vehicle at a club.

According to court documents, Boyes, Jr. was then spotted leaving the club and getting into the vehicle. As law enforcement officers approached, he allegedly pulled a gun on authorities. Shots were fired and the suspect was killed at the scene.
Both Capt. Carter and Sgt. Frommeyer were in the area when the incident occurred, but were not present or involved.

As of Saturday, April 16, they were still in the Chicago area, conducting interviews and collecting possible evidence that may be related to the McCracken County murders.

At around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, detectives recovered a prescription pill bottle belonging to one of the victims in the McCracken County.

According to court documents, the bottle contained medication and had the address of where the victims lived. Authorities also noticed that the prescription had recently been filled in Paducah, Ky.

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