$5,000 reward donated anonymously to help solve 45-year old cold case in Clearwater

Murders happened on Christmas Eve 1968


An anonymous donor has offered up a $5,000 reward for a Clearwater homicide cold case that is 45 years old.  An elderly couple were brutally murdered on Christmas Eve in 1968 after they struggled with a burglar in their Jackson Rd. home.

"We haven't given up on it.  We're still working on it," said Clearwater Police Detective William Hodgson.

On Christmas Eve 1968, the house at 1135 Jackson Rd. was the scene of a savage double murder.

"Especially brutal," Hodgson added.

Clearwater Police believe Nick and Jane Jeatran likely surprised a burglar in the early morning hours, then struggled with the intruder and were beaten with a blunt instrument, which was never found.

The case has remained the department's oldest unsolved homicide.  Now, 45 years later, an anonymous donor has pledged $5,000 in reward money for information that helps close the case.

"That is unusual in a case this old.  But it does show that there still is interest in these older cases," Hodgson explained.

A family member told ABC Action News today that she's encouraged by the anonymous donation and is grateful police continue to work the available evidence to find the killer.

"Maybe even just a few years ago what we'd sent to the lab then that maybe got a negative response on, we're hoping to get something with modern technology," Hodgson said.

Detectives are even hopeful that the holiday season tugs at the heart strings of anybody that may have information about the murders.

"We just hope that there's someone out there that knows something; even the killer that's out there.  And around the holidays they start thinking about family, and what this family's been through, will encourage them to come forward," said Hodgson.

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