"New promising leads" in 2011 Simmons murder case; GBI asks for public's help

Robert Lee Simmons, Jr. is one of two unsolved local murder cases - both occurred before 2015. ConnectLocal looks at murder statistics in Toccoa/Stephens County since 2010.


Nine years ago this month, Robert Lee Simmons, Jr. was murdered in Toccoa. His death, originally not determined to be a homicide, garnered no headlines, but the Stephens County Coroner’s Office, without a medical history for Simmons to support that initial finding, sent Simmons’ body to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations for an autopsy.


“My Deputy Coroner worked that case...and I know that when he called me, he wasn’t comfortable with it,” Stephens County Coroner told ConnectLocal this afternoon in a phone interview. “We weren’t real comfortable with the scene, and with the photos we took, and we didn’t have a medical history – any time we don’t have a medical history and anything looks suspicious at all, we go ahead and call the GBI.”


After an autopsy by the GBI, Simmons’ death was declared a homicide, and the Toccoa Police Department and the GBI worked the case, but despite a reward being offered for information on the case in subsequent years, no suspects have been identified and the case remains open.


Simmons’ body was found inside his apartment in the Glendale Apartment Complex on Norman Drive, Toccoa, by a family member at approximately 7:30 p.m. on March 1, 2011. He was 46 at the time of his death. The GBI, citing “new promising leads” in the case, recently sent out a press release asking for the public’s help.


“The GBI is seeking the public’s assistance with any information about Simmons’ last days and his murder,” states the March 5 press release. “This case has remained active for the past nine years and both the GBI and Toccoa Police Department continue to work to solve this case. Recently, investigators have received new promising leads in this investigation and are asking for help from those who knew Simmons. Even the smallest detail may help police with this investigation.


Both law enforcement and Robert Simmons’ family and friends implore anyone with information to contact the GBI or Toccoa Police Department. GBI Special Agent Shilo Crane is the case agent and may be reached at 706-348-4866. Tips can also be made on the GBI Tipline at 800-597-8477 or online submissions may be made on the GBI website: www.gbi.georgia.gov. The Toccoa Police Department may be contacted at 706-282-3244.



FYI

The following murders have been investigated in Toccoa/Stephens County since 2010


Stephens County Sheriff’s Office

  • 2019 – One Victim: Matthew Shirley – Cleared by arrest 2016 – One Victim: Robert Hiott – Cleared by arrest 2014 – One Victim: Kim Lanier – Cleared by arrest 2012 – Two Victims: Mauro Maldondo and Victor Martinez (same case) – Cleared by arrest 2011 – One Victim: Jerron Jackson – Cleared by arrest


Toccoa Police Department

  • 2019 – One Victim: Patricia Hall – Cleared by arrest

  • 2019 – One Victim: Joel Keshon Green – Cleared by arrest

  • 2014 – One Victim: Montevious Flentall – Open case, under investigation by the GBI/Toccoa Police Department

  • 2011 – One Victim: Robert Lee Simmons, Jr. – Open case, under investigation by the GBI/Toccoa Police Department

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