Georgia Mae Bell was 59 years old when she was murdered. Her body was found in Okaloosa County, Florida, more than 30 years ago, and the person responsible for her death has yet to be brought to justice.
On July 28, 1987, Georgia was scheduled to care for an elderly woman, but she never showed up, which relatives said was unusual.
Therefore, one of her friends and his grandson went to her home in the 100 block of West Loretta Street, where she lived alone after her husband passed away nine years earlier.
When they arrived, they found several lights on, including the front porch, living room, dining room, and kitchen.
Dennis Bell told the Pensacola News Journal in 1987 that there were “too many lights” for his mother, whom he described as “very neat, frugal, and sweet.”
“Also, a watermelon was left in the kitchen. She loves watermelon, and she always cuts it the same way—lengthwise. But this was cut differently.”
“She’d never leave it out like that. She’s too neat for that. Also, the knife used to cut the watermelon is missing.”
After finding out that his mother had gone astray, Dennis and his three brothers went to Pensacola to find her.
When they couldn’t locate her, they contacted the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and reported Bell missing, which prompted a search by law enforcement.
Police officers searched her home and found that there was no sign of a struggle or forced entry, but there were indications that she may have been lured out of her house by someone she knew.
Her vehicle, a 1979 Buick that was in mint condition, was missing, along with her dog named Happy. It was later ascertained that a small-caliber gun that she had kept in her bedroom was missing as well.
On the morning of July 31, 1987, officers were notified that a woman in her 50s posed as Bell so that she could use her credit card at several department stores in the area, including JCPenney, Gayfers, and Parisian Inc.
When she arrived at Parisian Inc., the total of the items she tried to purchase was more than $100. That’s when the store made a routine call to the credit card company and discovered it had been stolen.
Before security arrived, the woman took off, leaving the credit card behind. She is described as having a medium build, brownish-gray hair, and decaying front teeth.
The woman also had a scar on her left cheek.
On Aug. 3, 1987, nine days after Bell’s disappearance, her vehicle was found abandoned at a closed-down 7-Eleven store near Lakeview and North W. Street in Escambia County.
A family friend noticed the vehicle in the parking lot and thought it looked similar to Georgia’s. The license plate was missing, but her family was able to verify that it was her car.
Florida authorities questioned several people, but they didn’t have any leads.
Sgt. Vic Phillips of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department told the media in 1987 that “we could come up with all kinds of different scenarios as to why she is missing.”
“We’ll try to take each one of them at a time. We’ll sort them out. Then we’ll try to come up with the best possible answer.”
Two months later, on Oct. 5, 1987, Bell was found dead in Okaloosa County.
Authorities did not release a cause of death, but her death is being investigated as a homicide, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone with information regarding the unsolved murder of Georgia Mae Bell is encouraged to contact Investigator Stimmell with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9199.