HOLMES BEACH, Fla. - When William Tokajer took over the Holmes Beach Police Department in April, he knew what he was getting in this postcard town of 3800 nestled along the tranquil waters of the Gulf.
He also knew the crime rate was one of the lowest in the Tampa Bay area.
“We issue some speeding tickets, parking tickets, sometimes make some arrests,” said Tokajer.
But it's the one arrest that still hasn't been made in Holmes Beach that looms here every August 1st since 1980. It is simply known as the Kingfish Boat Ramp Murders.
It’s the afternoon when four people were murdered, two of them children all in a matter of minutes.
Tokajer took the helm in April and within a month on the job he said a new tip was called in and investigated.
“Anytime that anything comes up with a cold case, that's a good thing because it means it’s still out there. There are people still thinking about it and talking about it,” said Tokajer who came from the Longboat Key Police Department.
THAT FATEFUL DAY
It was 33 years ago when Tampa pediatrician Juan Dumois and his brother-in-law loaded their boat onto the trailer at the Kingfish boat ramp after a day of fishing. Before driving away, Dumois saw a man pushing a bicycle.
His brother-in-law Raymond Barrows told police the man had a hurt ankle and asked Juan for a ride.
The stranger got in the back seat of the family station wagon with Dr. Dumois' two young sons. Less than a minute later, the stranger pulled out a gun and shot everyone in the car. The vehicle crashed and the boat jackknifed. Only Barrows survived.
Colonel Robert Matzke saw the accident from across the road. He arrived to help and approached the killer. He too was murdered. Maria Dumois still mourns the loss of her husband and two sons to this day.
“I just can’t think of what would make a person do that to children,” said Dumois.
Neither can Police Chief William Tokajer who said because of the extensive work done by the ABC Action News I-Team, evidence is now being readied for entry into a national FBI database, including palm prints.
With 34 years in law enforcement, Tokajer has seen his share of cold cases solved when all hope was lost.
“Between you and the community and the technology, that's what's going to give us the opportunity to hopefully solve this case sometime,” said Tokajer.
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Last week, the I-Team was there when 99-year-old Willi Berchau was released from Florida's guardianship program after a three year court battle.