Creecy case remains unsolved

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 18, 2008

GATESVILLE – Feb. 14 holds an entirely different meaning for the Creecy family of Gates County.

Instead of candy and flowers on that normally happy day, the family doesn’t have much to celebrate.

It was Feb. 14, 2001 that Hollis Frissell “Butch” Creecy disappeared. Two and one-half months later (April 28, 2001 to be exact), Creecy’s body was discovered floating in the Chowan River near the Gatesville Wildlife landing. An autopsy revealed he had died from a gunshot wound.

Despite an investigation by the Gates County Sheriff’s Office, the SBI and the FBI, the case remains unsolved now seven years later.

“There’s still no closure for our family,” said Gloria Creecy, the wife of the victim, who has since relocated from Gates County to Raleigh. “We can’t heal until this case is closed; until we find out who is responsible for his murder.”

Mrs. Creecy urges anyone with any type of information to please come forward.

“Somewhere, somebody knows what happened,” she said. “We don’t know who, what or where, but somebody does.”

To date, Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb said nearly 30 individuals have been interviewed about the case. To date, the information gained by law enforcement officials has failed to produce an arrest.

“Our leads have dried up,” Sheriff Webb said. “We thought we had a break in the case a couple of years ago, but it was determined that the main suspect we were interviewing wasn’t telling us the truth, so we went back to square one and started all over again.”

Despite the lack of leads, Sheriff Webb said that wasn’t preventing his office or the efforts of state and federal investigators from giving up on the case.

“The family wants answers; that’s completely understandable,” Webb said. “It’s our goal to find those answers, no matter how long it takes.”

Webb said he views this case as “personal.”

“This is our only unsolved murder case since I’ve been sheriff,” he said. “It eats at me every day. I still have a photo of Butch Creecy in my desk. I look at it often to remind myself that his killer is still out there.”

Meanwhile, a family, still grieving over the loss of a loved one, waits for an answer.

“It’s not that I’m disagreeing with the way this investigation is being handled…it’s just the fact that we still don’t know anything,” Mrs. Creecy said. “There are so many unanswered questions, but we still haven’t given up hope that the person or persons responsible for my husband’s death will be brought to justice.”

She continued, “This is still fresh in our memories….my son, Jay (28), and daughter, Heather (23). It’s almost like it just happened yesterday. We still love him and miss him.”

To add to the family’s misery, Butch Creecy’s father, Hollis F. Creecy Sr., went to his grave in 2005 not knowing who killed his son.

There is a reward in excess of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for Butch Creecy’s death. Those with information are urged to contact the Gates County Sheriff’s Office at 357-0210.

In the meantime, the Creecy family waits, hoping one day to celebrate Feb. 14 in its true meaning.