As the 21st anniversary of the slaying of a 21-year-old Florida girl approaches, detectives from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office are still searching for leads in the cold case.
Amy Gellert was stabbed to death on March 20, 1994, after she surprised an intruder in her parents’ home in Cocoa Beach.
The masked man, who had a gun as well as a dagger, also stabbed her stepfather Robert Lehton once in the head and her mother, Charlotte, ‘Bunny’ Lehton, seven times in the neck.
Amy had arrived at the house after attending church services.
Before she stumbled upon the masked assailant, he had forced her parents to lay on the floor and taken money and credit cards from Bunny’s wallet, CBS reported.
The man was behaving calmly until he saw the lights from Amy’s car and began stabbing her parents.
After he was stabbed, Bob ran outside and the intruder followed him.
The killer arrived at Amy’s car and began stabbing her.
She fled the vehicle, but only made it as far as a nearby parking lot before collapsing.
Amy’s parents survived their wounds, but Amy did not.
She had two older brothers, Mark and Ryan.
Police have never arrested any suspects in connection with the murder and do not have a concrete motive for the deadly attack.
Major Tod Goodyear was one of the investigators called to the crime scene in 1994.
He said: ‘I have a hard time thinking this is a random act.
‘The consensus tends to be that Amy’s the catalyst.
‘There’s something there with Amy that probably caused this to happen.’
The unsolved cold case was featured on an episode of 48 Hours that aired on Saturday.
During the episode, images of the weapons were aired and potential suspects were identified.
Based on a magazine police found at the scene, they were able to determine the suspect had a prop gun.
The dagger was never found.
Three suspects – Jeffrey Anderson, Hugh Poppell and Dominic Kanuika – were identified during the show.
Anderson was involved in a police chase the day after Amy was killed and is currently in prison.
However, police could never connect him to the murder.
Poppell had a romantic relationship with Amy and police received a tip he may have been involved in the murder after he died in a hit-and-run accident in 2013.
Kanuika became a suspect after someone reportedly overheard his high school girlfriend saying he was ‘possibly involved with that homicide’.
Even though he had a shaky alibi and failed a polygraph, police could never get enough evidence to suggest Kanuika was at the house.
Show producers and the Lehtons are hoping the episode will turn up some new leads for police.
During the broadcast, staff members from the program monitored Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets for tips, according to Florida Today.
Show correspondent Erin Moriarty said: ‘It’s not only unsolved but it’s really difficult to even to this day after speaking with all the detectives who worked on this case determine the motive.
‘And that really is the reason why they have not been able to completely tie up all the strings and arrest someone.
‘One person’s life was taken but so many other lives along the way were destroyed.’
Bob and Bunny, who still live in Cocoa Beach, hope that an arrest will help bring them ‘closure’.
Bunny said: ‘Our sole purpose is to give people an opportunity to give us information that will lead to the capture of the person who did this.
‘This is not vengeance.
‘He just needs to be off the streets for doing something so terrible.’
The sheriff’s office worked in tandem with 48 Hours on the episode.
According to the department’s Facebook page: ‘The CBS 48 Hours crew has followed the investigation for several months and has offered to help the investigation by seeking the help of the community.’
Anyone with information regarding the investigation should call the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 321-633-8413 or email at MajorCrimes@bcso.us.