After investigators received an anonymous tip, they were able to solve the 1976 Utah cold case murder. However, they were unable to make an arrest because the killer is already dead, according to People Magazine.
On October 28, 1976, 47-year-old William Ercanbrack was found dead on the ranch that he owned in Clarks Canyon. His life was cut short after apparently being shot in the back with a high powered rifle, but what led to his death remained a mystery until an anonymous tip helped solve the Utah cold case murder.
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) July 30, 2015
“It [was] a land dispute,” the Summit County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Bridge said on Tuesday about what transpired nearly 40 years ago when Ercanbrack was shot dead. Apparently, the anonymous tip led to George B. Toone being the killer who got into an argument over the land.
“Corroborating information was given about two activities after the homicide, and mixing that together with what was collected at the scene of the crime — a particular piece of evidence — we were able to confirm that Toone was in fact the murderer in this case,” Bridge continued.
Due to the agreement Utah police made with the anonymous tipper, they are unable to release further details into the murder of William Ercanbrack, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
However, his family were relieved after hearing the name of Ercanbrack’s killer as they were never able to get closure for almost four decades, but justice will not be served, as Utah police uncovered that Toone died of natural causes 14 years ago at the age of 75 in San Bernardino, California.
“I think that they all wanted the final resolution. They all wanted that disposition,” Bridge said. “They have suspected over the years who could have done it … [and this] brings closure.”
Had he been alive, Toone would have been facing murder charges.
“We may now be able to find some source of closure in this matter and can move forward knowing that there are certain law enforcement professionals out there that really do care about carrying out their duties to ‘protect and to serve,’” said Ercanbrack’s family.