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Fox 4 looks into what 'Cold Justice' partnership means for Fort Myers Police Department

Posted at 9:09 PM, Jun 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-11 06:59:44-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A failure of police or a benefit of fresh eyes? Today, fox four is in your corner, digging deeper into why it took a TV show to make an arrest in a Fort Myers murder that happened three years ago. This is the third time "cold justice" helped Fort Myers police help make an arrest in a case.

The latest one, Earl Antonio Joyner was arrested for the murder of 25-year-old Heyzel Obando, who died in 2016. Obando was a mother of two who was shot to death on Valentine's Day in 2016, police say she was found in her apartment at Maple Crest Apartments.

"We were able to get a statement from him and that was helpful because we haven’t previously heard from him," said Tonya Rider, a homicide investigator with 'Cold Justice.'

But does the constant backup from a popular tv show help or hurt the Fort Myers Police Department? According to a former officer, Dr. David Thomas, it’s not a bad thing.

"The advantage of using a group like this is the fact that they bring in fresh eyes, in any cold case that is really the key," Thomas said.

Thomas says Fort Myers Police lost 42 officer in 2008, due to the recession. Many of those officers retired early and had years of experience working on cold cases, so having a new pair of eyes can be beneficial.

"Often times it’s just something that they missed, overlooked, or sometimes it’s something they thought they never had - and sometimes it takes someone else from the outside to come and take a look at it for you," Thomas said.

Thomas also added with the large spotlight the Fort Myer Police Department has under in recent months, it's good to see them asking for help. "They have been taking a beating, They’re open to coming in an allow other people to come in and take a look, that says a lot about the organization for someone to come help their victims."

The producers of 'Cold Justice,' tell us two detectives with the Fort Myers Police department also helped with the arrest in their latest case.