New detective hopes to crack cold case from 1980

Cold case gets new detective
Updated: Jul. 27, 2018 at 4:09 PM EDT
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KENTON COUNTY, KY (FOX19) - The town of Visalia has a population of less than 100 hundred people, but if you asked any adults in the area about the disppearance of Randy Sellers they would probably know exactly what you're talking about.

Sellers was 17-years-old when he disappeared in August of 1980, that's nearly 38 years ago. The case has sits cold at the Kenton County Police Department where it's gone through the hands of multiple detectives.

Now, it has been handed to Detective Brian Jones who says he hopes to bring a fresh perspective to the case.

"It's one of our most high-profile cold cases. This is one of those that everybody knows in Kenton County," said Jones, who has been a detective for two years.

Sellers was at the Kenton County Fair where according to police reports he was intoxicated and got into a fist fight. Police were called out and picked Sellers up, but instead of taking him to a holding cell, they decided to drive him home. Sellers allegedly asked those two officers to drop him off about a mile away so he could sober up before going home and they did, but he never made it home.

"Narratives from other agencies say something along the lines of him being intoxicated that he may not have been giving clear directions as to exactly where he was going. So, they might have just dropped him off in an area he was describing and let him go from there," said Jones.

There are all kinds of theories about what happened. Some people on the internet think Sellers may have drown in the Licking River, but investigators searched there and nothing ever turned up. A few convicted killers claimed they murdered Sellers, but that never panned out in the investigation.  In fact, the case has never been ruled a homicide, it's filed as a missing persons case.

"It's gonna be an interesting thing looking back into the case cause I'm sure there are interviews with those officers and written statements and they're very well sitting in that box," said Jones.

Jones if referring to Sellers case box tat he hasn't gone through yet and admits he doesn't know what he's going to find.

"It's a little daunting. Primarily, just because so many people have already looked at it but it's a little exciting," he said.

Jones doesn't plan on letting any of the theories on the internet impact the fresh perspective he hopes to bring to the case.

"Everything in that case file, I want it to be the first time that I've ever seen in."

FOX19 tried reaching out to family members of Sellers. Some have passed on, others couldn't be reached.

"It gives me an opportunity to take a case like this where a family is looking for answers and be the person who can help look for that answer," said Jones.

Jones believes someone knows what happened to Sellers. He asks anyone with information to call the Kenton County Police Department.

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