MONROE COUNTY, Mich. -- A man on the run for more than three decades who is wanted in connection with two murders in the Midwest in 1983 may be living in Los Angeles, possibly as a woman, investigators say, according to news reports.
Investigators in Monroe County, Mich. have released an age-progressed image of what John Kelly Gentry, Jr., now 63, may look like today. Gentry was 30 when he was accused of killing a man and a woman, both of whom he was reportedly romantically involved with, though neither knew about the other, according to the Los Angeles Times.
25-year-old Barbara Gerber was found dead in her Summerfield Township, Michigan, home on April 12, 1983, reports CBS Detroit. After identifying Gentry as a suspect in the killing, Monroe County Sheriff’s detectives began searching for him in Toledo, Ohio, where Gerber’s stolen car was found.
That’s when they, along with Toledo police, found what investigators believe was Gentry’s second victim: William Veith, murdered in the basement of a rare coin shop he owned, the station reports. Veith’s car was also stolen, sheriff’s officials say, but was recovered in South Bend, Indiana.
Gerber and Gentry dated and eventually lived together in her home, but Gentry then started a second relationship with Veith, according to the Los Angeles Times. A motive hasn’t been determined, but officials speculate the killings happened after Veith and Gerber learned of each other.
The only clues as to Gentry’s whereabouts since then have been several postcards he mailed – one, the station reports, was postmarked May 1, 1983 and sent to a friend from San Diego. Another was mailed on May 7, 1983 to his father from Los Angeles – but after that, the trail went cold.
On June 7, 1988, a nationwide arrest warrant was issued for Gentry charging him with murder. That warrant remains active today.
Monroe County Sheriff’s Det. Jeff Smith told the Los Angeles Times that detectives believe Gentry has adoped his middle name, “Kelly,” and once frequented the West Hollywood area. Because of the alias, Smith said, there’s a chance Gentry has posed as a woman.
The LAPD and Monroe County, Mich. authorities are asking for the public to look at the age-progressed image and come forward if they have any information. Tipsters are asked to call 734-240-7530.