Break In Colbert County Cold Case, Family Speaks About Arrest
MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (WHNT) – A Colbert County cold case gets a major break.
Deputies arrest 32-year-old Derek Terrell Burt for the 2008 shooting death of Harry Ricks.
But investigators say two other suspects are still on the loose.
According to deputies, three men barged into Ricks’ home, tied up him up, along with his wife, and daughter.
During the botched robbery, Ricks was shot in the head.
It’s been nearly four years since that murder and Ricks’ family has been searching for answers ever since.
After the murder scene cleared along Gate Six Road in Colbert County, the pain lingered. Days turned to years.
“I had to pick myself up and I couldn`t dwell in all the misery and sorrow,” said Ricks’ wife, Rita. “I had to pick myself up and that’s what I did, because I knew I`d never get my husband back.”
But Rita Ricks says, she always held out hope that someday, an answer would come.
“I knew it would, just when?” questioned Ricks. “I think God was waiting until me and my daughter were prepared, could we deal with this? I knew it was on His time and I had to wait on it.
And then nearly four years after the murder, Colbert County investigators get a break in the case. Investigators say DNA evidence linked Derek Burt to the crime scene.
“The same morning that I was told they had more information I had just gotten off my knees praying, and it just shows how God works,” said Rita.
Detectives found Burt in Birmingham and charged him with capital murder.
“It`s the beginning of closure but it’s not the end,” said Ricks.
Detectives believe two other suspects are still on the loose. Investigators say the men helped Burt rob and kill Ricks inside his own home.
“Until they are captured and until they find out why they came in my home and all the details behind it, I can`t celebrate yet,” said Rita.
But like before, Rita says she’ll turn to her faith and Father above as detectives continue to search for others connected to this case.
Burt was out on probation for unrelated crimes at the time of his arrest.
Detectives are offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to other arrests. You can call the Colbert County Sheriff’s Department at 256-386-8530 with details or the Shoals Area Crime Stoppers to leave an anonymous tip at 256-386-8685.