The cold case murder of Garth 'Buddy' Gene Rector - Muncie, Indiana - March 21, 2008

Cold blooded murder
On March 21, 2008, a troubling call came in to the 911 operator. A woman from Muncie, Indiana reported finding her tenant dead in his kitchen. Police quickly arrived
on scene and concluded that a middle-aged man had died as a result of a crime. It was 48-year-old Garth 'Buddy' Rector.

Garth worked as a wrestling coach in college, where he was once a wrestler himself.
He was separated from his wife at the time of his death, and according to insiders, he was in a midlife crisis. The popular wrestling coach had multiple relationships with women during this period. He was killed by his killer with five bullets.

Police Investigation
The police hermetically sealed the house and went looking for clues. First of all, they found traces of a burglary. The back door contained a broken window. It is believed that the perpetrator entered the house through this door. They looked for traces such as DNA and checked whether anything had been stolen from the house. The latter did not seem to be the case. Detectives believe Garth was murdered when he came home from shopping. Close to his body was a bag of groceries and a can of soda.

Police learned more about Garth after talking to his family and people close to him. As mentioned earlier, Garth was separated from his wife Angie Sue at the time of the murder. Nevertheless, the couple sought reconciliation, and had planned a nice vacation with his sister in California, where their daughter would also be present. On the day of the murder, Garth was to embark on this journey with his daughter, while his wife was already at the destination.

Garth rented a house from a female landlord, who lived on the same property and with whom he had a relationship. It was this woman who had noticed that the lights in the house were still on, while to her knowledge he would already be on his way to California. For that reason, the landlord entered the house of her tenant and boyfriend, only to find him dead in the kitchen. She then called 911. 

Possible suspects
According to insiders, Garth had several girlfriends at the time of the murder. A reason for the police to take a closer look at those relation-ships. The crime could've well been a crime de passionel. Due to his relationships, a number of possible suspects emerged.

The landlord / ex-fiancée. She had recently broken off her engagement to her long-term boyfriend, presumably because of the relationship with Garth. The police might have thought she had a motive. After all, Garth was planning to return to his wife, while she had just broken off her engagement. Nevertheless, the woman cooperated very well with the investigators. Something that cannot be said about her ex-fiancée. He was slightly older, and was very bitter about the whole situation. When the police gave him a closer look, he turned out to be an avid gun collector. Also suspicious was the fact that he never missed a day at work, but had missed a day at work on the very day of the murder. His DNA was found in the house, and he had a bad alibi. He knew his way around Garth's rental house well because he had been in there several times for odd jobs. The ex-fiancée did not cooperate with the investigation. When he was asked to take a voice-stress test and polygraph, he refused. 

Another person of interest was the husband of a high school colleague Garth had had an affair with some time ago. He still seemed very upset with the 48-year-old wrestling coach. The police asked for his cooperation, but he also refused.

Failed burglary or jealous murder?
According to the police, at the time of the investigation, they received tips that pointed in both directions separately from each other. On the one hand, it could well have been a burglary gone horribly wrong. In areas like where Garth lived, burglaries were common in broad daylight. It could be that he came home from shopping and surprised a burglar. In a panic reaction, the burglar could have fired his gun and fled without taking anything from the house.

On the other hand, it was also quite possible that an extremely angry (ex)husband came to take revenge on his failed marriage that Garth was blamed for. In that case, it explains the five bullets. A revenge killing, or crime de passionel, more often results in an outburst of anger where extreme violence is used. While a startled burglar would do this less quickly.

Information and tips
Garth's murder remains unsolved, and his family, including his wife Angie and daughter April Marie, are still searching for answers. They cannot resign themselves to the fact that the perpetrator is still on the loose. We therefore ask you to contact us if you know more about this case. Do you know who took Garth's life, or have you ever picked up on it? Then let us know now. Don't hesitate and get in touch now (anonymously) using the form below. 

This goes without the interference of the police, and entirely through our editors. If you would like to remain anonymous, do not enter your name and e-mail address. We ensure that your information ends up in the right place with the appropriate cold case team.

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