The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office recovered a weapon Wednesday afternoon that officials suspect was used in a Jan. 26 stabbing in Fleming.
According to Sheriff Steve C. Sikes, detectives have searched for the weapon since the morning after the stabbing, which resulted in the death of 19-year-old Terry “TJ” Floyd.
“It was the last missing piece that we needed for this case,” Sikes said, adding that the weapon was undergoing tests and analysis before it could be linked to the crime conclusively.
The weapon was found in Peacock Creek near a bridge on Lewis Frazier Road with the help of the Liberty County Public Works department, Sikes said.
“We’ve had a good idea where the murder weapon was that was used in the stabbing,” he said. “We had divers out there for two days, searching that creek on and on to no avail.”
After searching for days without result, Sikes said he was inspired by a case his father, former Sheriff Robert V. “Bobby” Sikes, worked decades ago.
“I remembered a case that my dad had back in the late ’60s where there was a murder on Highway 17, where a metal cash register was taken out of a gas station that was down there,” he said.
Robert “Bobby” Sikes and his investigators decided to search all the creeks in the area for the cash register.
“So he came up with the idea of using a magnet to find it, so we were discussing that, and I said, ‘I sure wish we had a magnet to find this murder weapon,’” the sheriff said.
The lead detective on the case suggested they enlist help from the Liberty County Roads Department and Public Works Director Clenton Wells, who provided a crane and magnet to comb the creek.
The knife, which Sikes estimates has a 6-inch blade, was attracted to the magnet “within a matter of minutes” of the magnet being submerged in the area, he said.
Last week, three suspects were taken into custody in connection with the case.
Travon Walthour, 17, was taken into custody Jan. 22 and charged with murder and aggravated assault. Jonathan Mathew Robertson, 18, was taken into custody Jan. 25 and charged with murder and robbery. Damien Walthour, whose age was not specified, faces a charge of tampering with evidence.
Authorities believe the stabbing occurred shortly after a drug transaction on Cook Road and, Sikes said, information provided by the suspects led authorities to the canal.