George Reffner, 34, a father of three, was found shot to death along Interstate 24 in Rutherford County back in 1980.
Det. Sgt. Dan Goodwin with the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office said Reffner left his home in La Vergne around 6 p.m. on October 28, 1980.
“His co-workers and family described him as a cheerful guy, hard worker. He had no enemies that anyone knew, no bad habits,” Goodwin said.
He said Reffner had no criminal record and had a good paying job at Thompson and Green. The company is now known as Thompson Equipment and sells construction equipment.
He said Reffner was headed to the mall to get a new winter coat, but he never made it.
The next day, his wife called one of his co-workers to say George never came home. The co-worker went looking for him and spotted the abandoned red Toyota he was driving on I-24 near Almaville Road.
Sgt. John Brown responded to the scene and when he pulled up, he discovered clothing on a nearby rock ledge.
“He climbed up and checked it and what he found was the body of what turned out to be George Reffner. He had been shot more than once,” Goodwin recalled.
He believes Reffner climbed up to the ledge and died.
At the time, Sgt. Goodwin said I-24 wasn't as busy and it was dark so no one likely saw anything.
He said they did come up with persons of interest and a possible motive. He said they've done follow up interviews as far away as Ohio. However, he said they don't have enough evidence to make any arrests.
“All of his siblings, his descendants still miss him and they still would like to have answers.” Goodwin said.
“We just need people to get the word out. Somebody may know something,” he added.
Sgt. Goodwin wouldn't elaborate on the motive or the persons of interest.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office at 615-904-3015 or 615-898-7770.