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Fort Myers Police close cold case from 1984

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Posted at 11:19 AM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 11:19:41-05

FORT MYERS, Fla.  — The Fort Myers Police Department has announced the closing of a cold case.

The Fort Myers Police Department responded to a call of shots being fired in Palm Ave and Lincoln Blvd in 1984. When they arrived, officers located Claretha Gibbs (age 31), suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Gibbs was transported via ambulance to Community Hospital, where she died from her injury.

During the investigation, a rag with the suspect's DNA was recovered.

DNA testing was not common or very advanced in 1984.

It wasn't until 2019; Investigators submitted the DNA sample to Parabon Snapshot to develop a profile using genealogy research.

On July 22, 2020, Parabon Snapshot completed a genealogy report.

The report indicated that the DNA profile was identified through genealogy databases to an individual identified as James Glen Drinnon (date of birth 09/06/1955) of Okeechobee, Florida.

On January 13, 2021, Investigators traveled to Okeechobee and made contact with James Drinnon. Drinnon provided a post-Miranda statement wherein he admitted to shooting and killing Claretha Gibbs.

Drinnon stated Gibbs was a prostitute, and he picked her up to engage in sexual intercourse. He claimed that Gibbs pulled a gun to rob him; they fought over the gun, and Gibbs was shot.

Drinnon fled the scene and discarded the gun out the window of his vehicle as he fled.

On January 18, 2021, James Drinnon died in his home in Okeechobee.

It is unclear if his death was due to natural causes.

The 1984 murder of Claretha Gibbs will be closed due to Drinnon's confession then subsequent death five days later.