Family looks for answers 30 years after grandfather killed in his driveway


GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — It’s been 30 years since Carla Ritchey Scruggs and her sister Jennifer lost their grandfather during a robbery.

“He didn’t deserve to die this way,” said Scruggs with tears in her eyes.

S.E. Ritchey and his wife Ethel were unloading groceries in their driveway when they were both attacked and robbed on March 5, 1988. “If these people would’ve said, ‘give me your wallet old man,’ he would’ve handed it right to them,” said Scruggs, recalling how kind her grandfather was.

Ethel was also knocked unconscious and could never remember what happened. She passed away in 2000 without knowing who took her husband’s life. Jennifer Ritchey says she answered the call from her grandmother the night of the attack. “I went around the corner at nine years old, and saw my grandpa covered in blood.”

Ritchey’s grandchildren will never give up hope. “We are so much closer than we’ve ever been,” explains Scruggs.

The family is working with the county’s newly-created cold case unit. The sheriff’s office says they have 20 persons of interest in this homicide and that the cold case unit has interviewed every one of them. They’re also finally getting existing evidence sent off to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“There’s evidence that’s either not been sent to the lab as it should be, or it’s been sitting there waiting for instructions to DPS on what they should be doing,” explains Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody of what was sitting there when he took office.

Detectives are still looking for new evidence like Ritchey’s black wallet with his initials — it was never found. His family is waiting for closure.

“It’s time, it’s time for us all to heal,” said Scruggs.

If you have any information on the death of S.E. Ritchey, you’re asked to call the Williamson County cold case unit at 512-943-3739 or email them at

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