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Springfield attorney's murder still unsolved: 5 years later

Rolland Comstock killed in July 2007

July 03, 2012|by Sara Forhetz, KY3 News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.--  His murder is a five year old mystery.

Greene county authorities say they have followed more than 225 leads and a civil trial in the case of murdered attorney Rolland Comstock.

There are still no former criminal charges in the case.

In July 2011, a jury said they believe that Rolland Comstock's ex-wife, Alberta Comstock, was liable for his death, but that was a civil trial.

To criminally convict anyone for murder, all 12 jurors must be on board, not nine, and authorities say they're just not there yet.

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A mansion just north of Springfield with an impressive library and four pet wolves was Comstock's home.

"We had a very close relationship," said Rolland's friend Becky Frakes.  His mansion is where her world fell apart.

"There was so much blood, that's all I can remember, there was so much blood… and one of the wolves was howling so sad.  That's the two things I will always remember," Frakes said.

Frakes found Comstock's body five years ago July 3.  She worked for the attorney for 33 years and was checking out why he wasn't answering his phone.

"All day I keep re-living it."

Her sadness has given way to dread that this case will never be solved.
A jury found Rolland's ex-wife liable for his murder, but the judge overturned the decision.

"It gives us some insight into how 12 citizens viewed the evidence as it stands now," said Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson.

Patterson says the burden of proof is much higher for a criminal trial, and the evidence doesn't support a conviction.

Sheriff Jim Arnott is waiting for the big break.

"We sent some things for some additional testing shortly after the civil trial," Arnott said.

It's supposed to be returned likely within the month.

"It's very hard knowing that it hasn't happened, and it's very hard thinking that it's not going to happen.  It would be wonderful to have that closure-- that everybody talks about, but it's a real thing, it's a real feeling, to be able to say justice was done," Frakes said.

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