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Creecy case enters ninth year

GATESVILLE – A mountain of paperwork still sits on the desk of Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb. Ditto for a solitary photograph.

Those items serve as daily reminders for the county’s top law enforcement officer in reference to the only unsolved murder case in his long career.

Sunday, Feb. 14 marked the ninth anniversary of the disappearance of Hollis Frissell “Butch” Creecy. 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 nine years after the fact.

“It eats at me every day…it’s so frustrating to have an unsolved case,” Webb said on Monday morning, one day after the ninth anniversary of Creecy’s disappearance. “We feel we have used every avenue we can think of to solve this case. When a case goes on this long, it makes it tougher and tougher to get the break you’re looking for, hoping for, to crack the case.”

Despite the passing of nine years, Webb said the investigation into Creecy’s death remains open.

“This has not been declared a cold case; we are still actively investigating this case,” Webb stressed.

To remind him of the unsolved case, Webb said he keeps three large notebooks, each full of information gathered to date on the murder, as well as Creecy’s photo on his desk.

“We have conducted hundreds of interviews and had several polygraphs conducted on individuals we thought may have been connected to this case, but still have made no arrests,” Webb said. “But that will not stop us from continuing our efforts to find the murderer or murderers.”

Additionally, Webb said rumors of Creecy’s “dark side” have no bearing on the investigation.

“We are aware of the rumors….that he was a bad man and one who was dealing in drugs,” Webb said. “I knew Butch Creecy as a good family man, one who loved his children and his wife. I knew Butch Creecy as a prominent businessman in our community. I knew Butch Creecy as a substitute school teacher.”

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

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