37-year old cold case gets renewed investigation from TBI

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LINDEN, Tenn. (WKRN) – The unsolved murder of an elementary school teacher in Perry County is getting a renewed push for answers from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

“There’s always challenges in a cold case such as this,” said Nathan Neese, Assistant Special Agent for the TBI.

On April 26th, 1984, Charles Lawrence, affectionately known as Robbie was found dead by his fiancé in his Linden home. A single gunshot to the heart ended his life.

“I was a 5th grade student at Linden Elementary,” said Eric Lomax, Director of Schools for Perry County Schools. “It’s probably one of the worst days as far as school days I’ve ever had.”

Lomax was in Mr. Lawrence’s 5th grade class at the time. The 36-year old man was also running for Perry County School Superintendent.

“I was heartbroken. I remember the next day when we were at school. There wasn’t any learning going on that day. Teachers and principals just let us console and grieve as students,” Lomax recalled. “He’s the whole reason I went into education….he just showed us how learning could be fun.”

Nearly four decades later, the case is still unsolved. The TBI is asking anyone with new evidence to come forward.

“You have witnesses whose memory fade or they pass away. We have people who are just fearful of people in the community who are still involved in the case and could be a potential suspect,” said Neese. “So, there are different hurdles that hinder a cold case such as this.”

The agency has assigned new technology to the case. If you have any information, contact them directly.

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